Beauty spot damaged as visitors use nature reserve as toilet

Abbots Pool

Abbots Pool nature reserve in Abbots Leigh. - Credit: North Somerset Council

Visitors to a North Somerset beauty spot have been defecating, littering and causing damage to the nature reserve.

North Somerset Council closed Abbots Pool nature reserve in Abbots Leigh last summer due to issues with antisocial behaviour, environmental damage and public health concerns because visitors had been using the site as a toilet.

Avon and Somerset Police are again receiving an increasing number of complaints over litter, vehicle nuisance, people urinating and defecating at the site, and alcohol-related antisocial behaviour.

More: Council urges people to respect open spaces after rise in littering and vandalism.

There has also been damage to the woodland and verges on the track leading to the site and to the eco-system of the pool itself, which has been used for swimming even though it is prohibited.

The police are joining forces with North Somerset Council's enforcement officers to tackle antisocial behaviour at the site over the summer.

A new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has been put in place which prohibits swimming, bathing, wading or jumping into the water. This includes the use of boats, dinghies, canoes, sailboards and inflatables in or on the water.

Anyone who fails to comply with the PSPO could face a fine or prosecution.

North Somerset Council leader Cllr Don Davies is also the local ward member for Abbots Pool. He said: "Unfortunately over the recent bank holiday weekend we saw a repeat of the issues that forced us to close the site last year.

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"Some people show absolutely no respect for the nature reserve and their behaviour is having a significant impact on local residents, other visitors to the site and the environment.

"Enjoyment of our outdoor spaces is something we actively encourage but, despite our efforts to promote responsible behaviour, irresponsible and antisocial behaviour has continued there.

"Our officers will be carrying out patrols in the area with the police and will take the necessary action with anyone found causing antisocial behaviour."

Police officers and council enforcement officers are stepping up patrols at Abbots Pool nature reserve over the summer to crackdown on antisocial behaviour and protect the beauty spot.

Anyone causing antisocial behaviour or breaching a PSPO will face enforcement action.

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