‘HAVE some respect’ was the message coming from the region’s tourist hotspots following reports of litter, fires, inconsiderate parking and large gatherings during blazing hot weather.

And at Devil’s Bridge in Kirkby Lonsdale, crowds of people were photographed risking their lives jumping off the bridge, with spectators clearly not remaining two metres apart.

A by-law prohibits jumping off the bridge - but that didn’t stop thrillseekers.

Geoffrey Buswell, chairman of Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council, said: “The biggest concern is that the river is so low and other people that don’t live locally are not aware of the dangers of jumping off.

“It’s quite deep in places but in some it’s quite shallow and there are some quite nasty rocks.

“You can put up as many notices as you like but how can you stop people jumping off?

“The police can’t be there all the time to enforce it.”

Jo Fawcett, inspector for Cumbria Constabulary, urged caution and said: “Jumping in can be extremely dangerous, not only because of uncertainty about the depth of the water but also because of the possible impact of cold water shock, which has the potential to cause blood vessels to close up and narrow, putting pressure on the heart.”

Further examples of problems reported over the last week include:

- Dozens of parking tickets handed out after drivers dumped cars on main roads.

- Litter and barbecues being left at the National Trust’s Fell Foot Park, near Newby Bridge. The parkland does not reopen until June 8 - with a booking system to be implemented - but the ‘Fell Foot Boat Users’ Facebook page reported walls were being ‘broken down’ by visitors.

- The remains of a fire were visible next to Lily Tarn on Loughrigg Fell.

Surveys conducted by the Lake District National Park Authority over the weekend suggested that 68 per cent of these visitors would not normally have come to the national park and many had never visited before.

And there have been calls from people across Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales pleading with visitors both new and old to respect the areas and put an immediate stop to the kind of behaviour which was witnessed in the weekend sunshine.

“I have lived here all my life and I have never seen anything like it,” said Jeff Carroll, vice chairman of Coniston Parish Council.

“I have never seen such a disregard for looking after the Lake District as a national park, as a World Heritage site and a as a beautiful place to go.

“I have never seen anything like it in terms of just wanton, brazen kind of selfishness.

“People littering, people going to the bathroom in the open air.

“When they were pulled up about it - being abusive to the residents.

“On the east side of the lake the parking was just mindless, obstructive. People were parking dangerously so you had to go round blind bends on a two-way road.”

Cllr Buswell said a group of people from the town cleared up the area round Devil’s Bridge after the congregations of visitors had been there.

“We don’t want to discourage people from coming to Kirkby but sadly they do leave a lot of mess behind,” said Cllr Buswell. “We did have a couple of picnic tables on the other side of the river burnt with those (disposable) barbecues.”

Kendal woman Sophie Labat expressed her despair after finding herself fighting against the tide of litter in areas including Kendal, Kirkby Lonsdale and Windermere in recent weeks.

At Rydal Water on Sunday she and mum Jill came upon lots of rubbish including plastic bottles and drinks cups and even, said Miss Labat, used tampons and human faeces.

“Within 10 minutes, right up in the woods, I picked up a ready-meal sandwich that had one bite taken out of it,” she said

“There was a KFC pepsi cup. The KFC in Kendal doesn’t exist anymore so they have travelled a long way.”

Miss Labat said around a week ago she was abused by a man on the The Helm, which overlooks Kendal, who began ‘effing and blinding’ when she asked him to pick up a beer can which he had thrown into some bracken.

And she is on a mission to combat inconsiderate litterers by calling on locals to pick up any rubbish they find - even though, in a better world, they would not have to.

“Even if it’s just one beer can, it makes a difference,” she said. “It isn’t right. We shouldn’t have to do it. But we all have to live here.”

Cumbria County Council reported the influx of people to honeypot sites led to ‘significant problems’ with parking over the weekend, including cases where emergency vehicles were impeded.

Craig Drinkald, area manager for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, stressed delays caused by ‘inconsiderate parking’ could be ‘the difference between life and death’.

“Fire engines are approximately 2.5 metres wide. Therefore, if you’re parking your vehicle and don’t think a van could get through the space, it’s extremely unlikely that a fire engine will either,” he said. “So please keep this in mind, especially on our narrow country lanes.”