A Cambridgeshire beauty spot “has been turned into a nightmare” by hordes of visitors during lockdown.
Fulbourn Fen Nature Reserve, managed by The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, is located several miles to the east of Cambridge, next to the quiet village of Fulbourn.
The popular spot is a great destination for a walk and offers the chance to see some incredible wildlife – but nearby residents are becoming increasingly concerned about the sheer volume of visitors coming to the site.
The car park at the nature reserve is only big enough to accommodate around four cars – not nearly enough for those visiting the reserve right now, according to residents.
So some of the people visiting the site are parking their cars on nearby Stonebridge Lane.
Geoff Andrews, 74, who lives in one of 12 cottages on the quiet lane, said visitors had been flocking to the nature reserve in their droves since January.
Find the latest news in your area:
He said during the weekends there are “upwards of 30 vehicles parked down there.”
He said: “There used to be grass verges, but they’re now completely churned up with the number of cars that come up there parking everywhere they can find.
“If my partner and I want to walk to the village we have to walk on the road, bearing in mind there are cars up there constantly.
“They expect us to step off the road and onto the mud. It’s absolutely beyond belief.
“There are no verges anymore, just mud heaps. I can’t emphasise enough how appalling it is for this beautiful area we live in.”
Fulbourn Parish Council has issued a notice urging visitors to consider parking elsewhere due to the problems.
The statement read: “Fulbourn Parish Council has received numerous complaints as the publicity has generated parking problems for the minority of residents down the only access point for vehicles which is served by a narrow leafy lane.
“People are parking anywhere; churning up verges and making access for emergency vehicles extremely difficult should they be required.
“Residents have also been verbally abused when asking visitors to park considerately.”
Mr Andrews said he had experienced verbal abuse at the hands of one of the visitors.
Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest news direct to your inbox.
Sign up to the CambridgeshireLive newsletter
If you’re looking for a way to stay up to date with the latest breaking news from around Cambridgeshire, the CambridgeshireLive newsletter is a good place to start.
The daily update will deliver the top news and features to your inbox every evening.
We choose the most important stories of the day to include in the newsletter, including crime, court news, long reads, traffic and travel, food and drink articles and more.
Signing up to the newsletter is simple. All you have to do is to click here and type in your email address.
It’s one of the many ways that you can read the news that matters to you from CambridgeshireLive.
“I asked a man to move his car and he told me to f-off,” he said. “He said there’s nowhere to park, what am I supposed to do?
“I said, what you’re supposed to do is take your car elsewhere and move the ruddy thing.
“Our next-door neighbour’s daughter walks up the middle of the road. She gets constant abuse from car drivers telling her to get off the road.”
Mr Andrews pleaded with people to park elsewhere to stop residents experiencing any more problems.
“All of us who live up here are of a certain age, so you can understand the problem we have when we’re trying to get to the shops.
“It’s not that we don’t want people visiting the nature reserves. Let them visit the nature reserve – but let them walk there.”