Lake District rangers find hundreds illegally camping and partying

Illegal camping Image copyright LDNPA
Image caption One group set up an illegal campsite in a reservoir bed

Hundreds of people were found illegally camping and holding parties in the Lake District over the weekend.

Police and Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) rangers said they spoke to more than 200 individuals on Saturday evening.

Groups were camping by tarns, with "fires on summit cairns" and 20 people were "partying" on a fell, they said.

Activities such as camping and large group gatherings are currently prohibited under government rules.

As well as camping illegally, damage was caused to trees and property and litter was left discarded, the LDNPA said.

Image copyright LDNPA
Image caption Some campers told rangers they "didn't know" they "weren't allowed to camp"

On Twitter, South Lakes Police said: "It's been quite a night.

"Blessed to be working alongside such superb partners, all working incredibly hard to protect this special place."

LDNPA rangers and police have been patrolling the Lake District to check no one is staying overnight and to remind people to stick to social distancing, take their litter home and to plan ahead.

The authority said the area was open to day-trippers but asked visitors to be responsible and avoid busy areas.

Last weekend police had to send "countless hopeful campers" home for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules.

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