A SHOCKED dog walker found 186 used 'laughing gas' canisters discarded beside the remains of a barbeque at a popular beauty spot.

She also discovered a number of balloons, which can be used to inhale what is technically known as nitrous oxide.

As well as being illegal to use the gas for recreational purposes, it is also highly dangerous and can lead to spasm of the throat muscle and stop a person breathing.

The dog walker, who does not wish to be named, collected the canisters and the remains of the barbeque from where they had been left on Cothlestone Hill, in the Quantocks.

She said: "I was out walking in the Cothelstone area of the Quantocks with a friend and my dogs.

"We were in a very pretty, quiet spot when we came across a shocking sight, the remnants of a fire, numerous plastic bottles and cans, a disposable barbeque, deflated balloons and lots of small metal canisters.

"I later discovered that the empty canisters had contained nitrous oxide, which is officially, used for culinary purposes. However, it would appear that certain individuals inhale the nitrous oxide inside the canisters via balloons.

"The weather had been very hot, the surrounding area was very dry and the thought of a fire burning in this location was alarming, for obvious reasons.

"We did not have any gloves or bags with us to pick up the rubbish, so I returned a couple of days later with the appropriate bits and bobs and picked everything up.

"I knew there were a lot of canisters, some lying on the ground around the ashes of the fire and many thrown into the fire.

"I sorted through the contents of the retrieved rubbish when I got home, in order to recycle what I could, and discovered that there were actually 186 canisters and 24 plastic balloons along with the cans and plastic bottles.

"Why in the world didn’t the individuals involved take their revolting rubbish with them? Why did they think it was OK to leave such a horrid mess for someone else to deal with?

"Such a sad sight to have discovered on our lovely Quantocks."