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People warned not to use private Somerset weir after 'hundreds' ignore social distancing rules

Tellisford Weir on Wednesday, May 20. Credit: Tellisford Parish Council

People have been warned not to use a Somerset weir after 'hundreds' ignored social distancing rules this week.

Tellisford Parish Council clerk, Anthony Battersby, urged people not to visit Tellisford Weir near Frome, after he says the area was packed with visitors on Wednesday 20 May.

He claims people ignored social distancing rules, parked cars nearby, blocked the road to emergency vehicles, and left rubbish everywhere.

Cars parked outside Tellisford Weir. Credit: Tellisford Parish Council

Prodigious amounts of rubbish were left behind. The field beside the weir is grazing farmland, we recently had two incidents of dogs chasing sheep.

The field is not a picnic place, there is a public footpath and nothing more. There are no sanitary facilities and people pee and defecate wherever they feel like.

– Anthony Battersby, Tellisford Parish Council clerk
Rubbish left at Tellisford Weir Credit: Tellisford Parish Council

The weir is private property belonging to Tellisford Mill which is also responsible for its maintenance.

Anthony warned that when people stop and stand on Tellisford Bridge or walk up the packhorse steps it is not possible to maintain the two-metre rule.

The hundreds of people who gathered there ignored social distancing and made the area one huge Petri dish for the spreading of SARS and Covid-19. We had to call the police to try and control the situation.

– Anthony Battersby, Tellisford Parish Council clerk