WORRIED locals in a tiny community with a beach voted the best in Britain by one of the country's leading newspapers have protested it's really not helpful and they're already swamped.

Runswick Bay, between Staithes and Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast has a miniscule population, many houses are holiday or second homes and there are just 80 public parking spaces.

The Sunday Times has just named it number one of Britain's 50 Best Beaches for 2020. They say: "It's a beach close to perfection, with safe swimming, fine castle-building, space for ball games, paddleboards and kayaks for hire and three freshwater stream for damning.

"The sands stretch for nearly a mile from where an 800 yard scramble over the Hill Stones reef, fabulous for rock-pooling and a top cod fishing spot on the winter low-neap tide, brings you to the fossil-hunting grounds at Kettleness Sands."

North Yorkshire county councillor for the area councillor David Chance said residents were already extremely worried about the large numbers of visitors flocking in and fears being named the best beach in Britain will add to the problems.

"It is a beautiful accolade to have but it is not helpful. Runswick and neighbouring Staithes are already being swamped with visitors well beyond their capacity to cope and that worries me considerably.

"Over the last few weekends parking has been horrendous, people have just been leaving their cars anywhere on verges, footpaths, yellow lines. It has caused huge concern, one resident even came out to cut some flowers in her garden to find a guy defecating in the hedge"

Cllr Chance said they are looking at extra cones and Scarborough Borough Council would be examining parking and traffic wardens but mostly they want to appeal to visitors to have consideration.

He added: "There is really nothing we can do but ask people who come to respect the local communities. I think people have got post lockdown syndrome, everyone is so desperate to get out and I understand that, and this is a lovely area so we would just ask people to respect the communities.

"The alleys and footpaths are very narrow so it is tricky to keep social distance, even Whitby has been having problems."

Clerk to the Parish Council Carol Barker said it would have been better if the Sunday Times had not named it their number one. "It was much better when it was a well kept secret, last weekend was horrendous."