The campsite at Stonethwaite has attracted visitors for more than 50 years

The campsite at Stonethwaite has attracted visitors for more than 50 years

A Lake District campsite has had to close because of anti-social visitors.

The owners of the Stonethwaite Farm site in Borrowdale said they had reluctantly decided to shut the facility from Thursday because of ‘idiot campers’.

Posting on social media, the campsite operators said: “Unfortunately, many of our campers have been unable to stick to our guidelines, let alone government guidelines, making stays far less enjoyable for our regular campers and ourselves.

“Not only that, we are unable to keep up with the sheer amount of rubbish – including tents, gazebos, airbeds, chairs and even a mop – which not only makes the site look untidy but also adds a huge cost to ourselves to get rid of.

“Idiot campers – please take a long hard look at yourselves and learn to respect your fellow campers. Playing music until 4am when it is against our camp rules and you have already been told to turn it off is not acceptable.”

The problems encountered by the campsite mirrors those reported across Britain as more people have decided to holiday in the UK rather than overseas during the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement, Nick Gill and Kayley Kennedy of the Stonethwaite campsite, said: “While this was a difficult to decision to make, as it is unfair to the many responsible campers we welcome to the site, we feel it was a necessary one due to the disrespectful nature of the new breed of campers sites across the country seem to be attracting this year.

“The response on Facebook has been incredible and the amount of support we have received from fellow campsite owners, our regular campers and even those who have never been to the site before has been really touching.

“The site is known in the camping community for having a laid-back atmosphere in a beautiful location and unfortunately this year we haven’t been able to provide that for our visitors.

“We have a strict no-noise after 11pm rule and do patrol to enforce it, but some seem to think it’s acceptable to play music and party until 4am, upsetting the groups around them. Nick has no qualms about throwing rowdy groups off the site, and regularly does, but can only do so if he’s made aware of it.

“There also seem to have been people not paying attention to the government guidelines regarding group size, despite there being signs up across the site and notices on Facebook.

“Despite being told to split up they always seem to group together again when our back is turned which does not comply with the social distancing rules we are trying to enforce.”

The hamlet of Stonethwaite in Borrowdale. Photo: Tim Heaton CC-BY-SA-2.0

The hamlet of Stonethwaite in Borrowdale. Photo: Tim Heaton CC-BY-SA-2.0

The campsite lies south of the hamlet of Stonethwaite, close to the route of the Coast to Coast Walk and the Cumbria Way.

The owners said: “We were able to get the council to do an extra bin collection for a week or two but unfortunately they are now refusing, leaving us with several 1,100 litre-bins and two tractor trailers’ worth.

“The campsite is an important diversification of the farm and has been around for decades with some families returning to camp for more than 50 years with their children and then grandchildren.

“Because of the farm, we are unable to man the site full-time and while this isn’t a problem in a normal year, 2020 is proving to be anything but normal.

“We would like to thank everyone who has enjoyed and respected the site over the years, and look forward to welcoming you all back when the lockdown freedom frenzy has eased and normal service has resumed.”

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