RESIDENTS have expressed anger and dismay as crowds of people flocked to Richmond over the weekend, leaving mounds of litter and urinating in the open.

The hot weather and the easing of lockdown travel restrictions led to a huge number of day-trippers visiting the town, but residents were alarmed that social distancing was not being strictly adhered to.

One resident said on Saturday that the town was 'rammed' and busier than it is in the summer holidays.

Another said that people were 'furious' about groups of visitors who left behind piles of litter and urinated in public places.

A busy Sunday afternoon at Richmond Falls

He said: "I live here and people are furious and police seem powerless against it all.

"Hundreds of people off their heads on drugs and drink, locals having to pick the rubbish up after, there have been broken bottles smashed up in the river and laughing gas (nitrous oxide) canisters all over.

"Not one bit of social distancing at all, we can’t even take our children for a walk - it stinks of urine and someone even found a bucket of human waste."


The Northern Echo:

Busy scenes in Richmond today Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Other residents complained of the congestion as many visitors parked on both sides of residential streets around the town's beauty spots, making them hard to navigate for locals.

One said: "It was just rammed with people, I've never seen it so busy, even in the summer holidays.

"People in Slee Gill were on the pavement all the way up, parking both sides of the road and generally not very considerately."

The Northern Echo:

Cars double parked on Saturday

North Yorkshire Police officers have been on patrol throughout the weekend, aided by Royal Military Police and council security officers.

And while Saturday was a particulary busy day, with gangs of youths around the falls reportedly drinking alcohol and inhaling nitrous oxide from small gas canisters, the situation was calmer on Sunday although still very busy.

Police shut the car park near the falls and stopped people from carrying alcohol to the River Swale waterfalls beauty spot.

The Northern Echo:

Royal Military Police, council security officers and North Yorkshire Police were out in force Picture: NYP

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "We will continue to play our part in enforcing the regulations this weekend and are grateful for all of the support and positive engagement we have had from members of the public as we police what has been, and continues to be, a fast-moving situation.

The Northern Echo:

Crowds by the river at Richmond today Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

"If you turn up somewhere and it’s clearly busy, don’t risk it. Have a plan B and even a plan C to ensure you keep away from crowds and protect yourself and your loved ones.

"When parking your vehicle please respect the local community and make sure you are not blocking the path of emergency service vehicles.

"Please don’t leave your litter behind."