SHROPSHIRE Council is the latest group to call for people to follow government guidelines and not travel to beauty spots across the county for exercise, but instead stay local.

The plea comes after a weekend that saw sites countywide become inundated with visitors, causing worry among local residents concerned about their safety and people breaking the rules.

Overcrowding of sites resulted in crammed car parks – such as Oswestry's Old Racecourse and Ellesmere's Mere – and people parking irresponsibly on roads, paths and in some cases blocking the driveways of local residents.

Government guidance permits country parks to remain open, including car parks, for people to exercise locally once a day.

The top priority of the council is to protect the health and safety of residents, staff and communities across Shropshire.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said she and her fellow councillors are alarmed at the numbers they have seen travelling to beauty spots.

“The number of people who appear to be travelling to visit Shropshire beauty spots is alarming," she said.

"Not only do people appear to be breaking the rules by not staying local to exercise, they are showing a lack of respect and consideration for communities and the impact their behaviour can have.

“As was proven after the first lockdown, the Shropshire countryside will still be here when lockdown rules begin to be lifted.

"However, car parks being open does not mean you should be getting in your car and driving to sites.

“Our top priority is, and always has been, to protect the health and safety of residents, staff and communities, so until restrictions begin to be lifted, along with communities across the county, I implore you to stay away for now and visit Shropshire later.”

According to government guidelines, people can exercise in a public outdoor place – preferably once a day – by yourself, with the people you live with

with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one), in a childcare bubble where providing childcare or, when on your own, with one person from another household.