Gloucestershire

Outdoor sex 'rises in lockdown at Cotswolds dogging site'

Barrow Wake, near Birdlip Image copyright Google
Image caption Simon Laurens, who lives in Birdlip, said "it is so blatant" with the "worst times" being lunchtime and after work

Outdoor sexual activity has risen during the lockdown at a beauty spot in Gloucestershire, residents claim.

Barrow Wake, near Birdlip, is a notorious "dogging" site but residents say greater numbers are now showing up at the viewpoint during the day.

Simon Laurens, who lives in Birdlip, said "it is so blatant" with the "worst times" being lunchtime and after work.

Gloucestershire Police, said it was "fully aware" of the issue and officers are patrolling the area "regularly".

Mr Laurens, said it was a "beautiful place" but he "absolutely will not walk" there now.

"I find it quite offensive," he said. "It's the fact that it is so blatant."

Numbers had been "creeping" up during lockdown, he added, and it had been "really noticeable".

"Lunchtime and on the way home from work, those are the worst times," Mr Laurens said.

"And then of course you notice the mess - a lot of condoms and tissues, wet wipes all manner of stuff that goes with it."

Image caption In 2010, a fake brown tourist sign pointing to an "official dogging area" at Barrow Wake was torn down by angry residents

Insp Simon Ellson, from the Cotswolds Neighbourhood Policing Team, said it was a "long standing issue" but there were "no easy solutions".

"If you drive into the car park you won't necessarily see the sexual activity," he said.

"But if any of my officers do see that activity, they would take positive action."

He said the force "certainly would pursue" a case, if there was evidence but people were "wary about getting involved or providing witness statements".

He added officers were "patrolling the woods regularly" and it was working with a local wildlife trust to install signs warning against "antisocial behaviour".

In 2010, a fake brown tourist sign pointing to an "official dogging area" at Barrow Wake was ripped down by angry residents.

The same year, Gloucestershire Police pledged to deal with the problem after residents complained about being propositioned.

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