As the numbers of people heading to Dorset beauty spots increases, people are being urged to respect communities and to head home if it is busy.

Dorset Council and Dorset Police are urging the public to respect our local communities and to stay safe.

A vast number of people flocked to beaches and beauty spots over the weekend, with emergency services responding to a major incident at Durdle Door after people jumped from the landmark. The road to West Bexington was closed on Saturday, as was Durdle Door and Lulworth but this was ignored as many people enjoyed the hot weather at the beaches.

Dorset Council’s corporate director and duty gold command officer, Jonathan Mair, said: “It is vital that everyone continues to act responsibly. This weekend, with continued good weather, the number of visitors to the county has increased significantly. This is putting pressure on local beauty spots and beaches and we are seeing people not able to social distance properly.

“Unfortunately a number of people are parking inconsiderately and sometimes dangerously. We have taken measures to close a number of roads in the county for safety reasons.

“If an area is busy, please head home and don’t add to the crowds. Our priority is to protect residents' and visitors' health and wellbeing and for them to stay safe.”

The Government’s health advice has not changed – we all still need to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of the virus.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan, of Dorset Police, said: “The images circulated from Durdle Door show that too many people made the decision to go the beach rather than going elsewhere.

“The critical incident that occurred in this area demonstrates how important it is to act responsibly and not overcrowd our beaches.

“If an emergency situation arises, we need to be able to clear an area to allow for the treatment of seriously injured people. As there were too many people on the beach, we had no option but to put people together in to allocated areas to allow helicopters to land.

“Yet again, we would remind the public that if an area looks too busy, please go home or elsewhere.

“We enforce the law and not Government guidance or advice so we are unable to enforce social distancing, the wearing of masks or avoiding public transport.

“I am encouraging you all to do the right thing to avoid spreading the virus and reduce the impact on local communities.”