Waverley Borough Council is, once again, appealing to residents and visitors to avoid heading to the beach at Frensham Great Pond and Common on very hot days, and particularly this week which is forecast to see very high temperatures.
The site, which is a Special Protection Area and sanctuary for wildlife, saw a huge influx of visitors last weekend, resulting in a number of issues including illegal and dangerous parking, BBQs, littering, dogs on the beach and dog fouling as well as disrespectful and threatening behaviour towards members of the team on site.
As well as working hard to clear up litter – 79 bags of litter from Saturday morning to Monday morning, some of which was dumped by empty bins - the council’s countryside rangers and enforcement officers had to also remind a number of visitors not to light BBQs despite obvious signage on site stating no BBQs or fires.
Cllr Kika Mirylees, Waverley Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing, Parks and Leisure, said:
“We know that the hot weather makes Frensham a magnet for many, but our advice is please don’t come to the site when it is hot as it will be very busy and the car park will fill up early. If there are no spaces in the car park, visitors are reminded not to park on surrounding roads which can cause potential obstacles for emergency vehicles and cause traffic jams and that they should either return home or visit somewhere else.
“It was particularly frustrating to hear of the huge amounts of litter left, but also the numerous BBQs that our rangers found; these can cause devastating fires such as the ones seen recently on Ash ranges and at Bisley and there is currently a very high fire risk in the Southeast so please leave the BBQs for your back garden. It was also disappointing to hear of the verbal abuse and threatening behaviour our countryside rangers, enforcement and car park officers were subjected to by a number of people on site. This is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The council has now appointed Security Guards to manage areas of the site and support the team.
“This area is for people to enjoy not to destroy. It is first and foremost a nature reserve. If you wish to drink and eat, take your litter home with you and do not endanger the plants and wildlife through inconsiderate behaviour."
Car parks are provided at both the Great Pond and Little Pond by Waverley Borough Council and the National Trust. However these car parks become full very quickly, especially in good weather and school holidays.
Please can all visitors remember:
- To always park safely and considerately.
- If the car parks are full and you cannot park safely then please do not visit. Do not park on the roads around Frensham as these are rural clearways.
- No BBQs or fires to be lit anywhere in the area
- Make sure litter is disposed of in bins or, if they are full, take your rubbish home (this includes dog waste).
- Swimming is allowed only in the two designated areas.
- Dogs are not permitted on the beach areas. Elsewhere, to protect ground nesting birds, dogs must be kept on a short lead between the months of March and August.