CHAOS returned to Frensham Great Pond last weekend as soaring temperatures drew scores of day-trippers to the protected beauty spot.
Cars, many of which had been turned away from the overloaded on-site car park, were parked on double yellow lines – many painted only last October to avoid a repeat of last year’s parking issues – as well as the rural clearways in Pond Lane and Bacon Lane.
And where there were no yellow lines, sun-seekers drove on to verges, crushing the vegetation and leaving barely enough room for one car, or an emergency vehicle, to pass.
The parking issues were especially bad across the Hampshire border, where residents claimed the problem was “the worst we have ever seen”.
At one pinch point, around 60 cars were parked in a small stretch of road with a capacity for four to five cars to park legally under normal circumstances.
Cars also lined the road on and from the hazardous junction of Bacon Lane and Frensham Lane. And there was also parking on both sides of the busy A287 alongside the pond.
Police appealed for people to “think twice” if they were making plans to visit Frensham Ponds, after receiving numerous calls relating to overcrowding and inconsiderate parking.
But residents reported seeing just one officer on site over the weekend, and no evidence of fixed penalty notices.
As the visitors left for home, litter was left strewn across the beach at Great Pond and piled up against the overloaded wheelie bins – including, perhaps most worryingly given Frensham Common’s history, a number of disposable barbecues.
Waverley Borough Council has also encouraged people to “visit another day” if Frensham’s car park is full, and not to light barbecues or camp fires anywhere on or near the site.
But one exasperated Bacon Lane resident, Mick Cook, called on the councils to do more, commenting: “It is absolute madness that we can put someone on the Moon or explore the ocean depths but we cannot employ common-sense measures to protect those who live in these areas.”