Waverley Borough Council: Don’t visit Frensham Ponds this weekend

Saturday 16th July 2022 6:00 am
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Just some of the litter left at Frensham last weekend
Just some of the litter left at Frensham last weekend (Tindle )

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Security guards have been employed by Waverley Borough Council to tackle the influx of visitors on hot days at Frensham Great Pond and Common.

Waverley is appealing to residents and visitors to avoid heading to the beach at Frensham Great Pond this weekend, 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.

This resulted in a number of issues including illegal and dangerous parking, barbecues, littering, dogs on the beach and dog fouling as well as disrespectful and threatening behaviour towards rangers and Waverley staff on site.

A total of 79 bags of litter were collected from last Saturday morning to Monday morning, some of which was dumped by empty bins – and the council’s countryside rangers and enforcement officers also had to remind a number of visitors not to light barbecues.

This is despite obvious signage on site stating no barbecues or fires.

Cllr Kika Mirylees, Waverley’s portfolio holder for health, well-being, parks and leisure, said: “We know 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.”

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.

Cllr Mirylees continued: “It was particularly frustrating to hear of the huge amounts of litter left, but also the numerous barbecues 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 south east, so please leave the barbecues 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.

“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.”

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