Morons!

Pitboot

Guest
A sad result of the Covid 19 restrictions, or lack of them, is the increase in illegal and inappropriate camping inside the National Park. I'm not referring to the type of wild camping that decent informed people do, those who obey the simple rules, ie keeping out of sight, pitch high, no fires etc. I have wild camped myself, obeyed the common sense rules, and left no trace of my stay.
No, these are the selfish and ignorant idiots who pitch up at special places like Blea Tarn and Thirlmere and ignore the signs, start camp fires, and have a nice party whilst destroying a little bit of our natural heritage.
A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were walking at Blea Tarn and a group of youths had decided to pitch their tents in a prominent spot next to the water and among the trees. A fire was in progress and we saw evidence that live trees had been cut for fuel. We heard that later these persons got a visit from the police, oh dear, my my, how sad.
Yesterday we were walking by Thirlmere and heard noises along the trail. I got a bit closer to discover another camp, set up next to a major reservoir that serves Manchester contrary to all by-laws and common sense. Trees were being attacked for wood, and another fire was in progress.
These people leave their excrement in the undergrowth and after they have gone you always find crushed/burned beer cans, cigarette ends, sanitary products, and general detritus. At one site at Haweswater we found mess tins, cider bottles, and the remains of a camp fire actually inside the wood line and under the canopy of a ten acre plantation, how stupid and moronic is that? There was also a definite "scent" of human waste a short distance from the camp.
The desire and impulse to challenge the behaviour of such cretins is very strong, but it's not worth a kicking from some drunken or doped up youths. At Thirlmere I saw a machete being carried so approaching the scum bags was out of the question. However a call to the police on 101 is always an option, providing you have a good signal for your phone.
The call to "Leave no trace" has evidently gone unheard in many cases. I wonder if anyone on here has a defence for these anti social acts?
 
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Pitboot

Guest
As an update, when I went back to the Thirlmere site to see if the offenders had gone, I found that they had departed. They had left litter, empty beer cans, a messy camp fire full of burnt detritus, used toilet paper and the odd pile of half hidden excrement. They had savaged a number of live trees for firewood. They had left in a hurry as there was a half torn down shelter sheet with most of the guy lines still attached. All this just a few metres from Manchester's drinking water.
As I looked around I could see through the trees another group of illegally pitched tents, at least four of them.
I could not get through on my phone to United Utilities, whose land it is, or the police.
Driving home I noticed a light on in Ambleside police station and had a chat with the copper there. He said it was private land and he could do little unless the owners needed help to evict the trespassers. Covid 19 regulations now being relaxed there was no authority for him to kick people off the site. I argued that the illegal campers were breaking several by-laws and he should respond. So he reluctantly offered to go and have a look and maybe ask them to move.
I have no idea if he went or even if the campers have now gone.
I do not normally get annoyed by folks camping out in the great outdoors but causing damage, pollution, and ignoring the signs makes me a bit indignant. Had these groups pitched green or brown tents, not lit fires or cut live trees we would never have noticed them and they could have been undisturbed. Leaving disgusting waste and litter does get me angry, as it should anyone who enjoys the countryside.
 
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Pitboot

Guest
Update as at 20/07/2020;

My wife and I returned to the Thirlmere site to see if anything had been done. There were new signs that had been posted by United Utilities, and they were everywhere, no expense spared. What a shame that they could not spend the money on mobile patrols after normal working hours, and weekends.
The camp sites were empty of tents, with the grass flattened and multiple extinguished camp fires.
We went down to the water and started to see a lot of litter, mainly beer cans but some beer bottles, many broken. There was even a baby "Gap" jacket. In a few minutes we had filled three shopping bags with garbage which we had to take home with us, there being no rubbish bins anywhere around the car park.
Toilet paper, used, was in many locations, we even found a field improvised latrine within sight of the reservoir.
On the subject of toilets , the toilet block at Dobgill was locked so that people had taken to going behind the building to do their business between the wall and the fence, plenty of paper evidence for all to see.
So, if you want to go illegal wild camping in an open air toilet, the shore of Thirlmere is the place for you, just don't expect me to come running after you with a black bin liner!:crazy:
 

senior67

Regular Member
Location
staffordshire
Well done for your efforts to clean up and inform the authorities about what was going on, although as you have found they are reluctant to do anything about it, leaving the people who are doing the damage to the environment to assume that because no one stops them that it is acceptable, I too cannot understand why people who lug food and camping equipment up hills are reluctant to bring the empties back down with them.
 
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Pitboot

Guest
Thanks. Another visit to the west side of Thirlmere last night and we saw no fires, it was getting dark, and no lights from camps, nor did we see any sign of anti social behaviour.
There were a few cars and vans parked up but as the owners could have been walking late or wild camping in the correct way I was not moved to do anything. New signs that have been posted by UU state that there are CCTV cameras, if this is so they are not in obvious locations. I am not an eco warrior by any standards but a refuse bag is now always ready in my pack.
 
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