A COUNCILLOR has asked police to do more as he believes something 'more sinister' than just littering is going on at a Lakes beauty spot.

There have been more reports of visitors littering, destroying woodland, and driving off road vehicles in and around Stang End near Windermere despite police increasing their presence in the area over the weekend.

Councillor Matt Brereton has now gone to Peter McCall's office about this as he believes the police are not taking this as seriously as was hoped.

He said: "We can accept that monitoring the traffic can be useful but we need more action to be taken.

"There is clear evidence of criminal activity here.

"We appreciate the police is a limited resource but at the moment they do not seem to be taking this issue as seriously as we would like.

"Officers could sweep the area at these times rather than just take a multi agency approach.

"Trees are being cut down, drugs are being taken, abusive behaviour towards residents as well as fire arms use is going on.

"We are yet to see an outcome from these approaches and if this has not made any difference then it is not good enough.

"There is serious risk to human life and it is genuine criminal activity.

"I have a feeling that there is something more sinister going on up there as this is a more targeted area than the other incidents across the South Lakes."

The police have been increasing their presence in the area through collaboration with the Lake District National Park Authority.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery said: “All public agencies in Cumbria welcome the return of visitors to the Lake District and encourage all those who seek to explore the area responsibly. Camp sites are now open across the national park and we encourage visitors to book pitches ahead of their visits.

“The Lake District has a history of tolerance and is a welcoming place for visitors but we must maintain a balance between the wishes of individuals to enjoy the outdoors, the needs of local communities and the fragility of our landscapes.

"The impact of individual actions may seem relatively inconsequential but visitors are asked to consider the cumulative effect of their activities, whether it is fires, barbecues, littering, camping, parking, off-road driving or any other activity that could be detrimental the place and those who live and visit here.

“The anti-social camping that we have seen in recent months across the Lake District does not adhere to the long established Wild Camping ethos of responsible hill walkers in the UK and we will work with landowners and other agencies to prevent and deter this type of unreasonable behaviour.

“Having worked closely together throughout the pandemic, the Constabulary and its partners will continue to maintain efforts to protect and preserve the unique Lake District environment. We will not tolerate the damage or destruction of Lakeland habitats or heritage and will take robust action where necessary.”

Caroline Holden, Land Agent at United Utilities, added: “The reservoir catchment land at Thirlmere and Haweswater acts as the first stage of the treatment process for the clean drinking water we all rely on. If trees are destroyed and human waste and litter are left discarded it all has the potential to pollute our precious water resources, as well as being unsightly and dangerous for those enjoying the countryside.

“We welcome courteous day visitors but camping is not permitted. All we ask is that people follow the countryside code – cause no damage and leave nothing behind.”