A STARK warning has been issued to visitors of the Lake District following the closure of a road near a popular lake.

The C5018 on the east side of Coniston Water has been closed after multiple reports of anti-social behaviour, littering and inconsiderate parking which has obstructed emergency services on their way to life-threatening incidents.

Cumbria County Council has closed the section of road from Nibthwaite, south of the lake, to Monk House, near Coniston Village.

The route will still be available for pedestrians and cyclists and for access to properties on the road.

Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association chairman Richard Warren said: “We were on a rescue last weekend and all the car parks were overflowing. It really is a problem for emergency services.

“It’s so important to leave passing space and keep roads clear.”

To avoid the spread of coronavirus amongst the team, mountain rescue volunteers are travelling to incidents in separate cars.

Mr Warren said: “You could have 18 team member vehicles trying to get up through the valley.”

He added that an influx of people from outside of the Lake District are visiting beauty spots during their daily exercise – and that some new visitors are not aware of how to stay safe on the fells. Calls to mountain rescue teams are increasing.

“A lot of the people we’re getting called out to aren’t very prepared,” he said.

Mr Warren expressed concern about the growing numbers of visitors to the Lake District’s beauty spots. “We are concerned about July and August.”

Cumbria police and partners from the Lake District National Park, National Trust and Allerdale Borough Council have asked the public to follow Government guidelines ahead of the Summer Solstice.

With visitors to Castlerigg Stone Circle likely, Sgt Adam Scott said: “This weekend is summer solstice and we would like to remind people that there is still a risk around coronavirus and if people do attend to follow the government guidelines to reduce the risk to themselves and others.

“Concerns have already be raised by the local community and we would urge the public to respect local communities.

“Over the last few weeks we have had issues around illegal parking that has caused roads to be blocked and restricted access to emergency vehicle putting lives at danger.

"Cumbria Police are reminding the public that overnight stays away from home are still prohibited under Government guidance."