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'Please think twice before visiting Frensham Ponds' urge Surrey Police

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'Please think twice before visiting Frensham Ponds' urge Surrey Police

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 4:46pm 27th May 2020.

Surrey Police are asking us to think twice before visiting Frensham ponds as we are set to enjoy more warm weather. 

It is after they received numerous calls about overcrowding and breaches to social distancing guidelines over the recent bank holiday weekend. 

The car park at the beauty spot was overwhelmed which led to people parking inappropriately and antisocially in the local area, with officers forced to close some roads completely. 

Surrey Police were deployed to Frensham Ponds and the surrounding area and shut off roads to prevent cars entering Bacon Lane and trying to access the car park.

A spokesperson told Eagle Radio officers walked through the crowds, engaging, explaining and encouraging people to follow social distancing rules and the majority listened.

A drone was also lifted to reiterate the message. 

The force says because the site is common land and because there are multiple ways to gain access it is not possible to close Frensham Ponds to the public.

Waverley Neighbourhood Sergeant Andy Crane said parking at Frensham Ponds is always an issue during warm weather:

"We meet regularly with our partner agencies, including the National Trust, Waverley Borough Council and Surrey Fire and Rescue, to look at ways of resolving this issue.

"Much of the work that needs to be completed revolves around educating motorists of the problems they cause when parking anti-socially and continuing to work with partners to minimise the opportunities for vehicles to park on the rural freeways.

“This year, we are facing the added challenge of keeping people safe.

"Our officers were at the site over the weekend engaging, explaining and encouraging people to adhere to social distancing rules. 

“In line with our approach, which has not changed, enforcement is only used as a last resort and it’s important to stress that officers can only enforce Health Protection Regulations.

"Government guidance, such as two-metre distancing, is not enforceable. 

“If you are thinking about coming to Frensham Ponds, please park appropriately and enjoy the site safely.

"We are now able to spend much more time outdoors but everyone needs to take responsibility for doing that within the restrictions set out by the Government.”

Waverley Borough Council posts updates on Facebook regarding parking at Frensham Ponds to let people know when the car park is busy or full. 

Residents are also reminded that no barbecues are allowed at the site.