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‘It was an invasion’ - Seaside holiday park hits out at ‘selfish’ day-trippers

PUBLISHED: 13:02 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 19 May 2020

Head of Security Fred Folkes said that there were plenty of signs and barriers warning people the park was shut, but families

Head of Security Fred Folkes said that there were plenty of signs and barriers warning people the park was shut, but families "ignored them anyway". Photo: Fred Folkes

Archant

A coastal holiday park has claimed it was “invaded” by “conceited and selfish” day-trippers over the weekend - who ignored signs at the entrance that the park was closed.

Camping at the Waxham Sands Holiday Park, which would usually be extremely busy at this time of year. Photo: Adrian JuddCamping at the Waxham Sands Holiday Park, which would usually be extremely busy at this time of year. Photo: Adrian Judd

Head of security at Waxham Sands Holiday Park, Fred Folkes, said that their half-mile private beach was “overrun”.

He said: “It was an invasion. One of our barriers was just thrown into a ditch of water and people were climbing over our locked gate.

“We’re just next door to the Horsey Gap, where the National Trust car park was open. Their beach looked like Blackpool in heat.

“We couldn’t stop people walking along from the beach at Horsey onto our own, and since no public toilets were open, people were urinating on our dunes.

Holiday park owner Harry Hopcroft thinks that day-trippers may be coming to the beach to see the seals. Photo: Matthew JenningsHoliday park owner Harry Hopcroft thinks that day-trippers may be coming to the beach to see the seals. Photo: Matthew Jennings

“We had a report of a local elderly lady who caught a gentleman and his son weeing on her doorstep.

“Over the Bank Holiday weekend, we’re going to use huge two-tonne cement blocks to cordon off the roads. Hopefully these will be harder for people to move.”

For Harry Hopcroft, one of the owners of Waxham Sands, the problem is day-trippers and not locals.

“We had our security manager down on the beach to show a visible presence, and he had one man ask if he could use our public toilets as he’d come from London to see the seals.

Waxham Sands issued a stern 'Keep Away' Facebook message in light of the weekend's events, which had thousands of shares and plenty of support from locals. Photo: Fred FolkesWaxham Sands issued a stern 'Keep Away' Facebook message in light of the weekend's events, which had thousands of shares and plenty of support from locals. Photo: Fred Folkes

“The last thing these people want to hear is that they have to turn around.”

According to Mr Hopcroft, people from London and the Midlands are picking up on social media stories about the seals and taking their chance to visit now lockdown rules have been relaxed.

He said: “I sympathise with the fact that people are confused about guidelines and want to get out of the house, but we aren’t shutting off access for our own benefit.”

Earlier this month, Peter Ansell, chair of the Friends of Horsey Seals, confirmed there would be no wardens patrolling beaches over the lockdown period but that there was “no danger to the seals”.

He said: “The pups are big enough now to look after themselves.

“As far as we’re concerned at Horsey, the virus has struck at the right time in terms of the seals’ ability to protect themselves.

“It’s up to the individual to make sure they are socially distancing and respecting our beaches as landlords are not in a position to close off public footpaths.”


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