LANDOWNERS and Cheshire East Council have appealed for visitors to respect Pickmere Lake after a space of incidents of anti-social behaviour.

Despite social distancing measures still being in place, many have flouted these in recent weeks after travelling from out-of-town to visit the beauty spot.

Police had to move on large groups of youths from Warrington gathering at the lake and drinking alcohol last weekend, with inconsiderate parking also being an issue for nearby residents.

One landowner in the area told the Guardian: “We’ve seen large groups of people gathering there drinking and there is evidence of drug taking and general anti-social behaviour like smashing bottles and lighting fires.

“It’s just out of hand, with people travelling there from places in north Cheshire like Warrington, so it’s not necessarily local people.

“Parking is causing chaos as the road is very narrow and it’s becoming like a one-way street.

“The area will become a hotspot for coronavirus as hundreds of people were visiting last weekend and they were not social distancing by staying two metres apart.

“It’s reckless, inconsiderate and action needs to be taken.”

Cheshire East Council has also called for visitors to act responsibly when visiting the lake and to respect the tranquillity of the area.

A council spokesperson said: “We recognise the value of our countryside and green open spaces and their benefit to everyone’s wellbeing at this time.

“We would like Pickmere Lake and areas like it to be enjoyed safely and we hope that visitors will respect the peace and tranquillity they offer.

“We are aware of the issues concerning the parking of cars by visitors to Pickmere and Pickmere Lake.

“Civil enforcement officers have been patrolling the area and will issue fixed penalty notices where there is a breach of parking restrictions.

“We would appeal to visitors to all the borough’s parks and green open spaces to take their litter home and to remind them that dropping litter, like fly-tipping, can lead to a fine.

“Visitors to the borough’s country parks and recreation areas should be aware that excessive noise and littering are anti-social and a nuisance to others.

“There have been a number of incidents involving disposable barbecues and we would ask that visitors do not use these, particularly as the dry spell continues.

“We would also ask that people observe social distancing, keep to footpaths and close farm gates behind them.”