Visitors have been warned they face fines for illegal camping on Northam Burrows and other Torridge beauty spots.

Torridge District Council has issued the warning after a rise in the number of incidents reported this summer.

It said the burrows had experienced problems with overnight camping, despite byelaws prohibiting it. Anti-social behaviour has also been reported with fires, litter and noise causing a concern for the community and a hazard for wildlife and the protected nature reserve.

Rangers have warned that breaking a byelaw is a summary offence that can result in a fine. Not paying up could result in prosecution at Magistrates’ Court and a further fine on conviction.

Northam Burrows lead ranger Michael Day said: “Northam Burrows is a special place and we welcome visitors throughout the year. However, some activities need to be restricted to protect the local environment and prevent disturbance to our neighbours and the grazing animals and wildlife. Camping and overnight parking is forbidden in the local byelaws and penalties will be issued to those in breach of these regulations.

“We are urging everyone to act responsibly when using the park and help us to protect this unique environment for future generations.”

The council permits camper vans to stay overnight in selected car parks for up to two consecutive nights, including Churchfields Appledore, Riverbank Long Stay car park in Bideford, Sydney House Torrington and Holsworthy Manor car park.

Where permitted, overnight stays cost £5 per night and are available between 6pm and 11am the next morning.

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