Disgusting state of Britain's beaches is revealed

Lockdown litter louts: Disgusting state of Britain’s beaches after a weekend of soaring temperatures is revealed… as rubbish is piled high and plastic bottles of human waste are found by clean-up volunteers

  • Sunseekers who thronged beauty spots over the weekend have been accused of leaving their rubbish behind 
  • Temperatures hit 84F (29C) today – beating current 2019 high of 82.7F (28.2C) set in Suffolk on May 20
  • But Britain faces gloomy start to summer following May being the UK’s sunniest month since records began
  • Daytime temperatures are set to plunge to 43F (6C) this week, with some areas of UK as cold as Greenland 
  • But wet weather will bring relief to water companies and parched gardens amid fears over hosepipe bans
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Lockdown-flouting sunseekers who thronged beauty spots during the weekend heatwave were accused of leaving mountains of rubbish behind.

At Dorset’s Durdle Door beach, volunteers were left clearing up piles of discarded face masks and remnants of barbecues and picnics. Plastic bottles of human waste were also left behind.

‘To witness the disregard with which Durdle Door, our beaches and coast paths, have been treated is shocking,’ said Jurassic Coast Trust chief executive Lucy Culkin, adding that the charity had received ‘hundreds of messages highlighting the volume of litter’.

In the Lake District, rangers filled 130 bags with rubbish after the weekend while in the Yorkshire Dales, two couples alone picked up 53 bags of litter from Stainforth Force waterfall near Settle. Local councillor Paul Sullivan said: ‘It is horrendous… Too many people won’t pick up.’

It comes after Britons flocked to beaches as the relentless spring sunshine brought temperatures as high as 84F (29C).


Wish you weren’t here: Rubbish is piled high on Dorset’s Durdle Door beach after a weekend of partying by day trippers

Litter at the beach in Sandbanks.  The hordes of daytrippers visiting the exclusive resort in Poole Harbour have left huge piles of rubbish on the beaches and streets and have caused traffic gridlock on the enclave that has one road on and off of it

Beach BBQs at Sandbanks, Dorset over the weekend.  Millionaire residents of Sandbanks have told of being under siege by thousands of tourists who are bringing mayhem and carnage to the posh pinsunsula

Bournemouth and Southend were packed with day-trippers keen to enjoy the heat – but the large numbers made social distancing almost impossible with people from different households now allowed to meet up in groups of six.

May was the sunniest month in the UK since records began, but the country is now facing a gloomy start to the summer – just as the coronavirus lockdown is being eased and people can hold barbecues in their garden.

Daytime temperatures are set to plunge to 43F (6C) this week, with some areas of the UK as cold as Greenland. However, wet weather will bring relief to water companies and parched gardens amid fears over hosepipe bans.

The last day of the warm sunshine was today, with western England and North Wales hottest, with a high of 84F (29C) beating the current 2019 record of 82.7F (28.2C) set in Suffolk on May 20.

Day trippers packed the The Pebble Beach, River Wharfe, Ilkley West Yorkshire, on Saturday. They gathered in groups of more than the allowed six

Beach bums: Unwanted reminder of revellers at Ilkley’s Pebble Beach, West Yorkshire. Visitors spent the weekend sunbathing and enjoying the cooling water 

Maximum temperatures of 77F (25C) were expected widely across the rest of England and Wales today – the same as the conditions forecast in Ibiza – apart from coastal areas, where 68F (20C) to 70F (21C) was expected.

It came as a raft of lockdown restrictions were eased yesterday, with six people from different households now allowed to meet outdoors as long as social distancing is followed. They are able to meet in private gardens or in parks or beaches.  

Primary schools were reopened for reception, year one and year six, outdoor markets were reopened, along with car showrooms, while horse racing became the first sport to resume, though without spectators.

People in the vulnerable ‘shielding’ group who have until now been advised to stay indoors are also now allowed to go outside for a walk.  

People pack the beach at Bournemouth this afternoon as the public are reminded to still practise social distancing 

People swim in the sea and take to the beach at Bournemouth in Dorset today as they make the most of the hot weather

Julie (left) and Andreea (right) from Bournemouth cool down with an ice cream by the beach on the Dorset coast today

People on the beach at Bournemouth today as they make the most of the hot weather before conditions turn tomorrow

People gather on the beach and seafront on a hot day in Bournemouth today as the lockdown continues to be eased

People gather on the beach and seafront on a hot day in Bournemouth today as they make the most of the warm weather

People swim in the sea and take to the beach at Bournemouth in Dorset today as the hot weather continues

The beach fills up at Bournemouth in Dorset today with the UK enjoying another very warm day across the country

Sunbathers were left with little space to social distance on the sand by Bournemouth’s Pier, which was emblazoned with a ‘#SaveLives’ sign to encourage people to ‘Stay Alert’

Bournemouth’s council leader has written to MPs and police urging them to re-think lifting restrictions that have allowed for ‘awful scenes’ of beaches being packed out over the weekend

A swimmer jumps into the sea at Bournemouth, Dorset, as the public are being reminded to practise social distancing following the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England 

Maximum temperatures of 77F (25C) were expected widely across the rest of England and Wales today – the same as the conditions forecast in Ibiza – apart from coastal areas, where 68F (20C) to 70F (21C) was expected

People gather on the beach and seafront in Bournemouth today. The government has stated that six people can now meet together at a park or private garden as lockdown continues to ease. Restrictions were in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus

An RNLI lifeguard patrols the waters along the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, as the public are being reminded to practise social distancing following the relaxation of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England 

Then tomorrow, showers and thunderstorms could bring between half an inch and an inch of rain to the South West and South Wales. Patchy light rain is expected further north.

By Thursday, which is set to be mostly cloudy with some showers, just 59F (15C) to 61F (16C) is likely in most areas of England and Wales.

Parts of northern England could be colder still with 43F (6C) forecast in the central Pennines. Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is set to reach 52F (11C).

Met Office forecaster Nicola Maxey said better conditions are likely towards the weekend. For Friday, she said: ‘There is potential for dry weather with sunny spells, although it is likely to be breezy with the chance of a shower.’ 

Groups of people, some suspiciously larger than six, were seen getting together on Crawfordsburn beach in County Down

People relax on the banks and paddle in the River Wharfe in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, today as warm weather continues and the UK lockdown eases 

A man jumps from the suspension bridge into the water as others relax on the banks of the River Wharfe in Ilkley, West Yorkshire 

Saturday is set to be slightly cooler while Sunday is expected to be ‘rather cold’ and cloudy. Miss Maxey said the second half of June should turn warmer again, particularly in the South.

A record average of 626 hours of bright sunshine were counted over March, April and May this year, beating the previous record of 555 hours in 1948.

May was the sunniest calendar month ever, with 266 hours, in the records going back to 1929. And last month might have been the driest May since 1896, with just 9.6mm (0.4in) of rain.

The chances of a hosepipe ban across the UK this summer have been already rated as odds-on by bookmakers, with Northern Ireland warning of a possible ban. 

People gather to enjoy the sun in Potters Field, London, as the public are being reminded to practise social distancing following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions 

Groups of people relax in the sun on Gyllyngvase Beach on June 02, 2020 in Falmouth, Cornwall, as the Government further relaxed Covid-19 quarantine measures in England this week 

People are pictured on the beach in Falmouth, Cornwall, as the Government has relaxed lockdown restrictions in England 

Groups of people relax in the sun on Gyllyngvase Beach on June 02, 2020 in Falmouth, Cornwall. The British government further relaxed Covid-19 quarantine measures in England this week, allowing groups of six people from different households to meet in open spaces

People are pictured sunbathing in Falmouth, Cornwall, amid a loosening of restrictions across England with the Government allowing people to meet in groups of six while social distancing 

Umbrellas were used to shelter from the sun at the beach at Durdle Door in Dorset as people made the most of the hot weather today 

Didn’t you see the news? People are pictured gathering in groups in Durdle Door, Dorset, again today as the Government allows six people from different households to meet 

People gather on the beach and seafront today in Bournemouth as the Government announced a restriction in lockdown measures 

People are seen on the beach as they enjoy the hot weather in Formby, following the relaxation of lockdown rules in England



A group of young children run through the water as they enjoy the good weather at Southend-on-Sea in Essex today

A boy paddles in the sea on Saltdean beach near Brighton in East Sussex today

People enjoying the good weather on the beach at Southend-on-Sea in Essex today

Britons make the most of the sunshine at Saltdean beach near Brighton on the south coast this afternoon

A woman sunbathes at Potters Field in London today as the coronavirus lockdown continues to be eased in the country

People enjoy the sunshine on the beach near Brighton Pier on the Sussex coast today

People and a dog in the water at Compton Lock on the River Itchen near Winchester in Hampshire today

Paddle boarders in Whitley Bay on the North East coast today as they make the most of the warm conditions

The UK’s largest water firm, United Utilities, which supplies North West England, has asked its customers to limit their use of hose pipes and sprinklers.

But Mick Ainsley of the GMB union said: ‘If there are problems with the availability of water to households after such heavy rainfall [over autumn and winter] then the water companies have to face the fact that the problem is part of the systems that they are paid to keep in tip top condition.’ 

Sunniest May on record: How last month was a record breaker for the UK

May has been exceptionally dry and sunny with the month becoming the sunniest the UK has seen since records began, the Met Office said.

England has seen its driest May on record and Wales its second driest in records stretching back to 1862, with just 17% of average rainfall for the month for both countries.

The UK has also experienced its sunniest spring in records stretching back to 1929, with 626 hours of bright sunshine – beating the previous high of 555 hours in 1948 by more than 70 hours.

And May 2020 has been the sunniest calendar month on record with 266 hours of sunshine, beating the previous record of 265 hours in June 1957, the Met Office said.

Overall it has been the fifth driest spring for the UK and the eighth warmest.

It is a dramatic shift from the winter with its record wet February, and the Met Office said it is the largest difference in rainfall between a notably wet winter from December to February and a dry spring from March to May.

The dry, sunny weather and continuing coronavirus lockdown are now putting pressures on water demand, prompting industry body Water UK to urge gardeners to avoid using sprinklers in the evening – though the wet winter means there is no prospect of hosepipe bans in the future.

Dr Mark McCarthy, the head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: ‘The most remarkable aspect is just how much some of the May and spring records for these climate statistics have been exceeded.

‘Exceeding the UK sunshine record is one thing, but exceeding by over 70 hours is truly exceptional.

‘The sunshine figures for spring would even be extremely unusual for summer and only three summers would beat spring 2020 for sunshine hours.

‘The principal reason for the dry and sunny weather is the extended period of high pressure which has been centred over or close to the UK.’

In the exceptional conditions, water companies have seen a huge rise in demand for water from households, particularly in the evenings, with use up 20 per cent and some areas seeing peak demand of up to 40 per cent above normal for the time of year.

Along with cutting sprinkler use, steps to reduce water use include taking shorter showers, making sure the dishwasher is full and on an eco-setting before running it through, and reusing paddling pool water on the flowerbeds, Water UK said.

But the industry body stressed people should keep following the guidance on protecting their health during the pandemic, by making sure they wash their hands regularly.

And after the wet winter, there are good supplies of water in reservoirs and there are currently no plans for hosepipe bans in the UK, Water UK said.

Water UK chief executive Christine McGourty added: ‘These are exceptional times and the record-breaking dry weather is a powerful reminder of what a precious, natural resource our water is.

A man searches for metal on the beach at Southend-on-Sea in Essex as people are reminded to practise social distancing

Hailie Macro 17, rides through a field of poppies this morning near Lakenheath in Suffolk on Fara the Belgian Draft horse

A man sunbathes at St James’s Park in London today as people continue to enjoy the hot weather in parks and beauty spots

The RNLI are pictured along the Bournemouth seafront in Dorset this morning having resumed some lifeguarding duties

People enjoy the weather at the English Heritage site of Hadleigh Castle near Southend-on-Sea in Essex this morning

Two people stand on a bridge over the River Itchen near Ovington in Hampshire this morning

People enjoy the hot weather at Whitburn in South Tyneside today before conditions are expected to turn tomorrow

People at a coffee and ice cream cabin at Greenwich Park in South East London today as the UK enjoys warm weather

Mallard ducklings swim on a pond on Wandsworth Common in South West London

A woman walks her dog next to low water levels at Corbridge in Northumberland yesterday after the driest May on record

‘With so many people at home and enjoying their gardens, water companies are seeing record demand for water, which can cause issues with water pressure. Working together, we can all make a difference right now, so let’s use water wisely.

‘We need to keep washing our hands, but make other small changes to our water use, for example cutting back on paddling pools and sprinklers, particularly at the peak times in the evening.’

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said that in the prolonged dry weather the message to customers was to use water wisely but not to stint on hygiene measures to tackle Covid-19.

He told the Public Accounts Committee: ‘At the moment, although this is putting a lot of pressure on the water companies, the water companies are managing.

But they will only be able to continue to manage if everybody is responsible in how they use water over the next few months.’

But in the committee hearing on water supply and demand, he also acknowledged that telling people to conserve water when utilities were losing so much in leaks was a problem.

‘It does undermine the ‘use water wisely’ message, so it needs to be addressed,’ he told MPs.

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