While lockdown brought out the best of the majority of us, it brought out the worst in the usual suspects – with the locals of beauty spots, in particular, receiving the runt of their behaviour. And we’re not just talking the odd forgotten crisp packet here and there.
We’re talking reports of anti-social behaviour, drunkenness, and gatherings of young people having outdoor parties at some of our region’s most popular (and usually peaceful) locations.
Now, patrols are returning to the Richmond Falls area to drive away the troves of anti-social groups that visited last spring and summer, in a bid to avoid the same issues re-occurring.
Last year, ramblers and locals complained of excessive litter left behind, groups of teenagers, and even cases of young people gathering in groups to have parties. Derbyshire’s Blue Lagoon, in particular, was hit hard by anti-social behaviour – and authorities had to turn to dyeing the beauty spot black to deter people from visiting.
Yorkshire authorities opted to drain our own blue lagoon, Threshfield Quarry, due to the same issues.
Confirming the return of the patrols this week, Richmondshire council will be turning away anyone who turns up with alcohol, and large groups of people will also be asked to leave the Richmond Falls area.
Expected to continue throughout the summer months as COVID restrictions begin to gradually ease, Colin Dales, corporate director for operational services at Richmondshire District Council, said that some people’s behaviour last year had a “massive impact”, with “a lot of anti-social behaviour, threatening behaviour and drunkenness” affecting the locals, as well as other visitors.
Councillor Helen Grant, deputy leader of the authority, said: “As we have said previously we welcome visitors who want to come to the area, but equally we don’t welcome those who come and act in an anti-social way.”