Don’t throw it all away!
Britain’s beaches could be closed to prevent the resurgence of coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned as the heatwave triggered a frenzied rush to the seaside which led to ‘irresponsible and selfish’ scenes.
It came as thousands of Liverpool fans ignored social distancing to fill the streets outside Anfield after the club won the Premier League, as fireworks went off and fans waved flags, singing: ‘We’ve gone and won the league.’
And police came under attack from revellers in London for the second night in a row, as officers tried to disperse crowds at an unlicensed music event in Notting Hill, and also had to shut down a similar gathering in Streatham.
In Bournemouth, a major incident was declared after 500,000 visitors overwhelmed Dorset, with the authorities forced into an ’emergency response’ after they clogged up roads and dumped tons of litter on beaches.
Coastal beauty spots around the country saw drunken fights amid blatant flouting of social distancing rules by crowds of young revellers despite the country still being in lockdown to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stressed: ‘If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.’
There was also shocking violence against officers trying to end a party in Brixton on Wednesday night. Police fear widespread drunken disorder on July 4 – dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ – when pubs and restaurants can reopen.
Temperatures hit 92.1F (33.4C) at London Heathrow Airport yesterday afternoon, making it Britain’s hottest day of 2020 for the second consecutive day after the mercury got to 90.7F (32.6C) in the same spot on Wednesday.
But a week of blazing sunshine and scorching heat is coming to end today, with thunderstorms and downpours sweeping into the country along with lightning, hail, flooding and up to 2in (50mm) of rain falling in an hour.
In Liverpool, police condemned the thousands of Liverpool fans who filled the streets outside Anfield after the club won the Premier League.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden said Merseyside had been ‘disproportionately affected’ by the coronavirus pandemic and its residents had a responsibility to prevent further cases.
He said: ‘The overwhelming majority of fans have recognised the fact that now is not the time to gather together to celebrate, and chose to mark the event safely. They are a credit to this city.
‘Unfortunately, as we have seen throughout the lockdown period, not everyone adhered to the regulations in place. Although the vast majority of celebrations were good natured, a large number of people chose to gather outside the stadium.’
Earlier, about 100 fans gathered outside the Main Stand at Anfield for when the final whistle blew on Thursday’s Chelsea v Manchester City match, securing Liverpool the title with seven games to spare.
Fireworks went off and fans waved flags and sang: ‘We’ve gone and won the league.’
Within an hour of the result, thousands of fans had gathered outside the stadium, lighting red flares and singing football songs. People, with children and dogs, continued to make their way across Stanley Park to get to the stadium.
Many fans were seen hugging and one man stood with his arm around a cardboard cut out of manager Jurgen Klopp.
Others carried flags and scarves while some fans brought crates of beer. Many fans wore face masks for the gathering and shortly before 11pm, Merseyside Police announced road closures would be put in place.
Police officers could be seen in the area as fans celebrated but no attempts were made to disperse the good-natured crowd. Liverpool City Council told fans to ‘have a great party’ but maintain distancing as they celebrated.
The Premier League restarted earlier this month after pausing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with games now played behind closed doors. Merseyside Police’s Mr Carden urged fans to mark the occasion safely.
He said: ‘In the days ahead, we urge supporters to do the right thing and celebrate safely with members of your household and in your social bubble. By doing this you keep yourself, your family, friends and neighbours safe.’
Meanwhile in Notting Hill, officers attempting to disperse crowds at an unlicensed music event have been attacked by revellers. Scotland Yard said objects were thrown at officers dispersing the crowd at an event at Colville Gardens.
It comes as the Home Secretary vowed those who attack police ‘will be taken off our streets’ after violence at the street party in Brixton on Wednesday evening which she described as ‘utterly vile’.
Priti Patel told the Daily Express: ‘The police have my full support in upholding the rule of law and tackling this thuggery. I want to see those responsible arrested, brought to justice and taken off our streets – before they put even more people in danger.’
Scotland Yard said in a statement on Facebook late last night that its officers were undertaking an ‘enhanced policing operation’ across the capital.
Commander Bas Javid said extra officers, clad in personal protective equipment, had been called in to ensure there was an ‘effective and prompt response to any reports or disorder’.
He added: ‘Our role is to keep our communities safe and this evening people can expect to see a heightened police presence out in areas where we know these events are taking place.’
‘This is in direct response to concerns expressed by our communities, many of whom were scared and shocked by the events taking place outside their homes.’
Kensington and Chelsea Police said people at the West London event dispersed at around 2am this morning and there were no reports of serious injury.
Meanwhile, police also attended an ‘unlicensed music event’ at Streatham Common yesterday evening. The force tweeted: ‘Officers are currently at Streatham Common where an unlicensed music event is taking place.
‘They have engaged with a large number of those in attendance and the crowd has now almost entirely dispersed.’
The extra police officers in protective gear were dispatched to illegal raves planned around London following violent scenes at the street party in Brixton on Wednesday.
The Met Police said it was targeting further unlicensed music events and block parties around the city after 22 officers were injured on the Angell Town estate in Brixton.
Footage on social media showed police vehicles smashed and officers pelted with bottles during clashes with a large crowd, with Downing Street condemning the scenes as ‘appalling’.
The scenes in Bournemouth and elsewhere prompted Mr Hancock and Mr Whitty to warn the public not to undo their success in tackling the pandemic. Mr Hancock said he was ready to order the closure of beaches if there are repeats of yesterday’s packed scenes at Bournemouth and other hotspots.
‘We do have that power. I am reluctant to use it because people have had a pretty tough lockdown and I want everybody to be able to enjoy the sunshine,’ he told Talk Radio.
‘But the key is to do it with respect for the rules – stay with your household, stay a good distance from other households. But we do have those powers and if we see a spike in the number of cases then we will take action.’
The Health Secretary added: ‘The number of cases is right down, but we must all stay alert. The sun is shining and of course everyone wants to enjoy the glorious weather, but the Daily Mail is right that we mustn’t throw it all away. Keep to the rules or we risk going backwards.’
Vikki Slade, the leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, told BBC Breakfast: ‘We don’t have the power to close the beaches. Local people would love us to close the beaches.
‘They’re prepared to sacrifice their beaches to get rid of the behaviours they’re seeing. But that’s not a power that we have. We have 15 miles of coastline.
‘People here live on the beach, it’s not like a private beach at the end of the road that you could shut the road off. People are living right down by the sand and so that just isn’t practical.
‘What we did yesterday was to try and bring all the agencies together so that we were able to do things like the police issued a Section 35 Dispersal Order at one point because of the bad behaviour.
‘We were able to get extra patrols in to try and stop the overnight camping that we’ve seen on our beaches. We’re able to recruit in people from other… see if we go to other counties and ask them for staff we can use to try and deal with the problem.’
Environment Secretary George Eustice said he has been to the beach recently and saw people following the rules.
He told BBC Breakfast: ‘I went to Bournemouth beach myself with my family a couple of weeks ago and actually people were observing social distancing and there were certain vendors open for business and they had put in place particular measures to make sure there was social distancing as well.
No foreign holidays and sunshine provide hope for seaside businesses
This week’s combination of sunshine, no foreign holidays and school closures has brought record takings to some seaside businesses who are hoping the second half of the season could be a bumper time.
Reece Holland, chairman of the Bridlington Leisure Association, said some of the businesses which are allowed to open in the East Yorkshire resort saw big takings yesterday as visitors flocked to the seaside.
But Mr Holland said the a number of businesses in Bridlington, including two bars, have not survived the lockdown, and he still does not know whether the July 4 reopening of his family’s amusement arcade, pub and ice cream parlour will see them break even.
He said: ‘I’ve spoken to a few different people on the harbour who’ve got different businesses and yesterday was one of their busiest ever days. It’s due to the fact that people have been cooped in.
‘They’ve got money in their pockets and the weather’s fantastic, there’s nowhere else to go, there’s no holidays. If 10,000 leave the UK every day to go on holiday, they’re not now. And where are they going to go? They’re going to come to the coast, aren’t they? And rightly so.’
Mr Holland said he is preparing to fully open his businesses on July 4 with a range of special measures in place. These include one-way systems in the amusement arcade with hand sanitisers by the machines and extra staff to continually clean.
But he said he is still poring over the 40-page Government guidelines and cannot be confident he will make any money.
Mr Holland said: ‘Everyone thinks as soon as you get the green light it’s fantastic and money will be coming back in. But I’m actually concerned now that, as soon as we open, there’s going to be that many procedures we have to put in place that I might actually lose money.
‘At the moment, although I’m not earning any money, I’m not losing money.
‘The day those doors open, I could potentially lose money because I need to take my staff off furlough and all the bills start up again.’
But he said there is potential for the second half of the summer season to be good for seaside towns.
Mr Holland said: ‘I think we’re going to have a good back-end.
‘September, October is going to be better than normal. I do believe that a lot of English and British people who normally go to Tenerife, Lanzarote, Spain, they’re going see what Bridlington and what the Great British seaside can offer.
‘I think they’ll be coming back again as long as we’ve got some good weather. We’ve got some of the best beaches here and don’t want for anything else.’
‘Clearly yesterday we had droves of people going to the beach in very large numbers, that was much more difficult.’
He added: ‘As Matt Hancock has said, we do have powers to put in place closures should that be necessary.’
Local MP Tobias Ellwood, speaking from Bournemouth beach, said: ‘This place was deluged and social distancing went out the window and that’s why a major incident was declared, because the local authority and indeed the police couldn’t cope.’
He told BBC Breakfast: ‘The beach should have been closed down, or at least shut down to prevent further people from entering it.
‘We need to learn from this and recognise that if we’re going to be serious about tackling this pandemic then we need to be swifter in being able to provide support to local authorities who are unable to cope.’
Mr Ellwood asked for local authorities to be given more help to deal with incidents as lockdown measures are lifted.
He told the BBC: ‘I really would urge the creation of a national situation centre that can monitor events across the country.
‘Don’t forget on July 4 we’re going to add alcohol to this equation as well, and I would hate to see Bournemouth or any seaside resort become that place where the second spike is the first to appear.
‘That can only be avoided if local authorities are given the necessary and swift support. That means in an emergency being able to respond to requests for help, that didn’t happen yesterday.’
Mr Ellwood added: ‘We need to make sure no beach is seen like we saw yesterday, those scenes were unacceptable given this enduring pandemic.
‘Until there’s a vaccine we should not be seeing behaviour like this. If a local authority cannot help, cannot manage on its own, it needs additional support and it needs that support swiftly.’
Official figures released yesterday suggested that the retreat of the coronavirus pandemic has stalled and the number of people infected in the UK may even have risen.
Professor Whitty stressed: ‘If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.’
It came ahead of a crucial week for the Government, which has announced lockdown measures will be eased significantly on July 4 to boost the struggling economy. Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that ministers would ‘trust in the common sense ‘ of the British public when rules are eased.
Families visiting some beaches did attempt to follow social distancing rules – but that proved impossible in Bournemouth, where the area was overrun for the second day running.
Car parks were full by 9am and hundreds parked illegally on pavements and double yellow lines. Traffic wardens issued a record 558 parking fines.
An astonishing 33 tons of litter, including human waste, was removed from the stretch of Dorset coast yesterday. Some illegally camped on the beach, including at upmarket Sandbanks, and used it as a toilet.
Detectives revealed the chaos caused by a ‘significant volume of people heading to one area’, where some people were so eager to get a good spot that they camped overnight on the beach. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council said services were ‘completely overstretched’ as huge crowds of visitors defied advice to stay away.
Incidents of anti-social behaviour included drunken fights and staff manning road barriers to turn motorists away from full car parks further along the coast at Lulworth Cove were sworn and spat at.
By yesterday afternoon the situation was so serious that council leader Vikki Slade declared a ‘major incident’.
She said she was ‘absolutely appalled’ at the beach scenes, adding: ‘The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe.’
Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP for Bournemouth East, was told by police there were 500,000 visitors in Dorset yesterday. He said: ‘These are selfish people who are threatening to prolong the pandemic and also litter our beautiful beaches.’
The beach was also busy along the coast at Brighton, where hundreds of youths gathered on an area of green yesterday evening, chanting at police attempting to move them on. Other seaside flashpoints included police being called to a ‘large group of people fighting’ at the beach in Exmouth, Devon, the same evening.
In Plymouth, police were out in force around the waterfront after heatwave-related ‘unacceptable behaviour’ by large groups of people.
And in Southend-on-Sea in Essex a seafront brawl and other incidents of violence prompted deputy council leader Ron Woodley to call for the Army to reinforce police to regain control of the streets.
The hottest temperatures so far this year have prompted a warning from United Utilities to households to cut water usage or face a hosepipe ban. With children cooling down in paddling pools and parched flower beds needing watering, levels are receding at reservoirs in parts of the country.
Meanwhile, working Britons took to social media to claim the furlough scheme – where the Government agrees to pay 80 per cent of an employee’s salary during the Covid-19 crisis – should be scrapped because too many staff off work are heading to the coast.
At the start of the crisis, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the furlough scheme to protect jobs, and the Treasury is now paying 7.5million workers to stay at home which the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates will cost £100billion.
There was a major alert for a high risk of sunburn in the South West yesterday with the absence of aircraft in the skies set to give the UK its highest levels of ultraviolet radiation because of a reduction in plane contrails.
The Met Office said UV rays, which can increase the risk of skin cancer, could reach nine in Devon and Cornwall, which is ‘about as high as it gets really in the UK’ and are more commonly seen in the Mediterranean.
Both Wales and Scotland also recorded their hottest days of the year so far yesterday. In Wales, the mercury soared to 87F (30.7C) at Gogerddan, near Aberystwyth – eclipsing a previous high of 86F (30C) from Wednesday. In Northern Ireland, highs of 78F (25.5C) were recorded in Aldegrove.
Dorset Police Assistant Chief Constable Sam de Reya said yesterday: ‘These are unprecedented times and we are urging people to stay away from the area of Bournemouth beach and other Dorset beaches.
‘We continue to work very closely with BCP council and other partners to ensure the safety of the public. We are also deploying additional resources to provide increased patrols in the vicinity to help tackle any issues of anti-social behaviour and other offences being committed.’The declaration of a major incident allows us to bring agencies together so we can take actions available to us to safeguard the public as much as possible.
‘We are also reliant on people taking personal responsibility and strongly advise members of the public to think twice before heading to the area. Clearly we are still in a public health crisis and such a significant volume of people heading to one area places a further strain on emergency services resources.
‘This influx of visitors to our area places a significant increase in demand on our service and we would ask people to please bear with us. We would therefore stress again that we are asking people to please stay away from the area.’
Mr Ellwood said Dorset Police and the local council were unable to cope amid reports of 500,000 visitors and two-hour traffic jams, with cars queuing back for 15 miles along the A338 and A31.
Many motorists have been parking illegally on double yellow lines, over cycle lanes and on pavements, seemingly happy to take a £35 parking ticket rather than queue and wait for a space.
Speaking amid the chaos, the MP said: ‘Bournemouth is deluged with visitors and the local authority cannot cope.
‘We have the perfect storm of incredible weather and a liberation of some Covid-19 guidelines and given the wider consequences of a second spike, the government needs to offer assistance and respond to this dangerous event that is happening within a national health emergency.
‘It is beyond the local capabilities to be able to control the roads and manage the situation. Volunteers and traffic marshalls can only do so much to get people to cooperate and move along.
‘It is important that Westminster sees what is happening on the frontline and responds with assets to provide support.
‘When you have mass demonstrations in London the Metropolitan Police can call on other forces to help and I think this is what needs to happen here. The police locally are overwhelmed, they cannot be everywhere. The number of police officers is based on the number of residents in the county, not visitors.’
Stephen Allen, a resident of Sandbanks, said: ‘It is the illegal camping that gets us. You see people coming out of their tents in their pyjamas and head off into the sand tunes with toilet roll. It is very unpleasant.
‘There has been illegal parking happening all over the place. Cars have parked on cycle lanes, double yellow lines and on the pavements.
‘They would happily take a £35 parking fine rather than queue for hours on end for a car park space which will probably cost them the best part of £10.’
Further along the Dorset coast at Lulworth, a local councillor told of the abuse she received when she tried to turn people away because the area was full.
The local authority agreed to set up road barriers when the main car parks at Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door become full.
Laura Miller has been manning one of the barriers. She said: ‘I have been shouted and sworn at and one guy spat at me. These are people who have travelled three or four hours in their car, they are hot and grumpy and then they are turned away.
‘Some drivers have ignored our barriers and just knocked them over and driven through.’
She said that the beach at Durdle Door resembled the aftermath of a music festival last night. She said: ‘The behaviour of some visitors has been foul. There are large groups of people who are totally ignoring social distancing rules.
‘We filled up 30 bin bags of rubbish and the beach stinks of weed. It was like the aftermath of a festival. Most of the visitors have come from London but others have travelled from Birmingham, Bristol and Peterborough.’
Some working Britons claimed the furlough scheme – where the Government agrees to pay 80 per cent of an employee’s salary during the Covid-19 crisis – should be scrapped because too many staff off work are heading to the coast and making social distancing impossible, raising the chilling prospect of a second wave of the virus.
A nurse told MailOnline: ‘This is ridiculous, the furlough holiday should end. It is so unfair to many nurses working on the front line self employed.
‘Not only am I putting myself and husband at risk and unable to see my children and grandchildren, but feel it is so unfair that we are hit with tax bills despite all these individuals enjoying the sunshine and being paid [while] I swelter at work in full PPE to maintain services in urgent care.’
Paul Dulson, from Bournemouth, Dorset, tweeted: ‘I live a few miles from Bournemouth beach and do not visit because of this madness. A great case for ending the ridiculous furlough and getting kids back to school.’
Another added: ‘Why are the people not at work? Oh, that’s right, they all on furlough receiving 80 per cent of their salary paid for by me, to go to the f***ing beach. Meanwhile the likes of me is working my a*** off in this heat.’
And a third said: ‘Just end the furlough scheme now. It’s there to protect jobs whilst we protect ourselves. We’re obviously not wanting to protect ourselves anymore, so let’s just stop paying people to sit on the b****y beach.’
At the start of the crisis, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the furlough scheme to protect jobs, and the Treasury is now paying 7.5million workers to stay at home which the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates will cost £100billion.
There was a tragedy in Worthing, West Sussex, yesterday as a woman in her 50s died after suffering a ‘medical episode’ on the beach. Tourists were evacuated to make way for the air ambulance but she could not be saved.
However the warm weather took a dramatic turn yesterday afternoon as thunderstorms broke out across the South West of England at around 4.30pm, when up to 1.6 inches of rain was expected to fall in two hours.
Storms were also forecast to form in the south west and south east of England, Wales, western Scotland and Northern Ireland from 4pm.
The Met Office has issued a yellow weather alert for those areas, warning of disruption due to flooding, lightning strikes, hail and wind.
The storms are expected to continue from midday today through to 6am tomorrow, with another yellow warning in place for the whole of the UK.
Areas hit by the storms could experience ‘torrential downpours’ with up to 2in (50mm) of rain falling in an hour.
There was also a high alert for dangerous UV radiation levels on the hottest day of the year yesterday.
Police break up huge party on Brighton seafront with hundreds of youngsters sent home from the beach after scuffles broke out
Police broke up a huge Brighton seafront party last night and sent hundreds of youngsters home after scuffles broke out.
Ten police vehicles were called to Hove Lawns, West Sussex at 8.40pm on Wedneday amid reports of ‘pockets’ of violence in the gathering.
The youths chanted at the officers, with one eyewitness calling it ‘like a stand-off between hundreds of youths and police’.
Locals believe the youngsters ‘would have finished GCSEs and (had) their end-of-year prom’. One resident called the situation ‘pure mayhem’. Officers issued a dispersal order for the green near Grand Avenue.
Councillor Chris Henry said: ‘Let’s not leave our young people behind in the Covid recovery plans.
‘It’s understandable that they’re bored and missing their friends, so we need to ensure their safety and develop activities for young adults so that police and the local community can focus on real crime and staying safe from Covid.
‘Hove Lawns tonight shows how badly solutions for young people are needed and how youth services are needed more than ever.’
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: ‘The sun is as strong as it gets at the moment because we’re so close to the solstice. We’ve got peak sun strength, clear skies, plenty of sunshine – it’s the perfect ingredients for high UV.’
Among the main reasons for high UV levels given by experts are a hole in the ozone layer that opened earlier this year, and the time of year so near the solstice combined with limited cloud cover and water vapour.
But Michaela Hegglin, a professor in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Reading, added it was also down to a lack of plane contrails, which normally create clouds reflecting UV rays away from the ground.
The expert told the Telegraph the negative impacts of UV levels were massively outweighed by the positive impacts of lower levels of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions during the coronavirus crisis.
She said yesterday could have had some of the ‘highest UV levels ever recorded’ in Britain, adding: ‘This is because of a combination of factors. We are at the summer solstice, when the sun is almost directly overhead at 1pm.
‘UV levels this high are rare in the UK, so people with light skin should be very careful to avoid getting burnt. While UV is important for getting vitamin D and keeping us healthy, too much of it can cause skin cancer or cataracts.’
Ozone holes are an annual thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica, caused by stratospheric chlorine. Every year ozone layers fall drastically during the Southern Hemisphere’s spring and the Arctic can be affected too.
Experts think this started happening in the 1970s as a result of the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were popularly found in aerosols. The hole forms in the Antarctic when cold air is trapped by strong circulating winds.
This leads to the formation of ice clouds, which break down chlorine-containing compounds. It makes the area especially susceptible to ozone depletion, but ozone from other areas returns over the affected poles every year.
The public has been reminded to take care around water throughout the summer, amid concerns people might be tempted to take a dip to cool down.
It comes as Thames Valley Police said on Wednesday evening they had found a body following a search for a missing man at Lulle Brooke in Cookham, Berkshire.
The man, who was in his 30s, was understood to have got into difficulty in the water on Tuesday evening.
A cousin said Syrian refugee Eyad Al Ryabi had gone into the water on Tuesday evening to try to help his friend. The friend survived and was taken to hospital, Thames Valley Police said.
Meanwhile a man in Middlesbrough was taken to hospital after jumping into shallow water at a popular beauty spot.
Volunteers from Cleveland Mountain Rescue team were finishing a ‘litter sweep’ when they came across the incident a Cod Beck reservoir, near Osmotherley, North Yorkshire, yesterday.
A 21-year-old man suffered a leg injury after he jumped into the water and was unable to walk.
North West London warned they could run out of water imminently
Britons in north west London and Middlesex have been warned their water supply could be disrupted as suppliers struggle to keep up with demand.
Affinity Water said it experienced much ‘higher demand for water’ due to the ‘exceptionally hot weather’, which could cause a reduction of water pressure or loss of supply.
Those in Edgware, Greenford, Harrow, Mill Hill, Northolt, Pinner, Ruislip, South Harrow, Wembley and South Ruislip have been told to expect interruption to the supply.
The supplier urged those in the affected areas to keep their water usage to a minimum to reduce demand on the network.
In a statement, it said: ‘If you are experiencing a reduction of your water pressure or loss of supply, this is due to much higher demand for water at present due to the exceptionally hot weather.
‘We expect your water supply to be restored to normal pressure later this evening.’
Affinity Water has put an additional 108 million litres of water a day into its network of pipes in an attempt to cope with the warmer weather.
A spokesman for the Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team said ‘the water was a lot shallower than he expected’ and as a result, was in a lot of pain.
The man was being treated by ambulance crews at the scene when rescue team arrived. Volunteers transported the ambulance stretcher to the patient while a doctor helped to treat him.
Once loaded on to the stretcher, the team helped push the injured man to a waiting ambulance. He was then taken to hospital for further treatment. Eight mountain rescuers and two response co-ordinators involved in the incident for around 40 minutes.
Others were on standby from their training locations but were not required. Crews are now warning people of the dangers of jumping into water.
The spokesman added: ‘It is perhaps worth reminding people about some of the risks of jumping into water – it might be shallower than they think and ‘cold water shock’ is a very, real danger. Put simply – it’s very dangerous – don’t do it.’
The good weather saw people flock to beaches in huge numbers despite social distancing measures remaining in place.
The Met Office raised its heat alert level to three, as health authorities encouraged those most vulnerable – many of whom have been shielding during lockdown – to protect themselves amid the ‘exceptionally hot weather forecast this week’.
Public Health England (PHE) said older people, those with underlying health conditions, and very young children were all more at risk from the higher temperatures.
The amber level three, which remains in place for the West and East Midlands, requires social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups, according to the Met Office website.
People have been advised to keep cool and stay hydrated where possible. The Met Office said UV levels were expected to remain at eight across many parts of the UK yesterday.
Emer O’Connell, consultant in public health at PHE, said it was important that people kept checking on the vulnerable, as many continued to spend more time at home due to coronavirus.
Boy, 10, dies after getting into difficulty in Scottish loch amid frantic search by emergency services
A boy has died after getting into difficulty in a Scottish loch amid a frantic search by emergency services.
The ten-year-old passed away at Loch Lubnaig near Callander in Stirlingshire yesterday. The child was reported as having ‘difficulty in the water’ at 5.35pm after he reportedly fell into a river near the loch.
A four-hour rescue operation involving a helicopter was launched. Police said the incident was not suspicious.
A spokesman said: ‘A ten-year-old boy has died following an incident in Loch Lubnaig, near Callander, on June 24.
‘Emergency services were called around 5:35pm to reports of a child experiencing difficulty in the water. Sadly, the boy died. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.’
‘You will need to do things differently this year, for example keeping in touch by phone,’ she said.
Shoppers have also been advised to be aware they could be forced to spend extra time in the sun as a result of social distancing measures.
And dog owners have been urged to avoid exercising their pets during the hottest part of the day.
Vets Now, a provider of emergency veterinary care, warned that the average survival rate of a dog diagnosed with heatstroke was 50 per cent.
The RSPCA said it had received 330 calls in regard to animal welfare and the hot weather since March 23, adding it was expecting ‘hundreds more’ as temperatures increase this week.
Meanwhile, fire chiefs said they wanted to ‘debunk this myth’ that hand sanitiser left in hot cars could pose a fire risk.
Roy Wilsher, National Fire Chiefs Council chair said: ‘We want to reassure people that this product will not combust if left in a car – even on the hottest day. For hand sanitiser to cause a fire it would need to come into contact with a spark.
‘Hand sanitiser is very important in the fight against the spread of Covid-19, therefore it is is essential we debunk this myth.’
People are advised to keep their hand sanitisers containers closed and out of direct sunlight and ensure they keep it away from any naked flame.
London Fire Brigade has warned people not to have barbecues on dry grass, not to drop cigarettes or matches, and not to leave rubbish such as glass bottles lying around amid a risk they could start fires.
In Dorset, stunned officials in Bournemouth today slammed ‘vile idiots’ who left 20 tons of litter strewn across the resort’s beaches following the hottest day of the year.
They blamed a ‘breakdown in decent, civic behaviour’ for the appalling mass of rubbish left behind by over 100,000 visitors – and volunteer litter pickers found many of the public bins were still half empty.
Shocking pictures taken at 4.30am yesterday morning before the local council’s beach cleaning team arrived to clear the mess have sparked fury on social media.
Ms Slade, the leader of Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, said: ‘It doesn’t matter what we do, these vile idiots will ignore the rules. The disgusting mess left on our beaches makes me want to weep.
‘People urinating within sight of loos, parking illegally and just accepting the fine and ignoring the message of don’t come to Dorset is a breakdown of civic behaviour.’
One of the litter pickers on the beach was Peter Ryan, 61, who founded the community group Dorset Devils.
He said: ‘It is sad, disappointing and disgusting to see the beach in such a state. It is the jewel in the crown of the area and it does not deserve to be treated like this.
‘There were so many empty beer bottles, vodka bottles and cans of all varieties left on the sand, even though some of the bins on the pier were half empty. They’ve shown no care whatsoever for this beautiful environment.’
Claire Shouksmith told the Bournemouth Echo today that she saw ‘several piles of human faeces, toilet paper and nappies’, dog mess, urine stains down the pavements, cars still badly parked yesterday and a ‘disgusting’ stench.
At the beach, she said there was ‘masses of rubbish’, a ‘stench of urine and more faeces’, dog mess in the sand despite not being allowed on that part of the beach, campfire debris and broken beer bottles on the sand.
She said: ”I’ve lived here for 14 years it’s usually lovely, clean and peaceful, busy when the weather hot but never have I seen the place left in this horrific state. Why the hell do people think they can use the streets as a toilet?
‘The actual toliets are open all day! When did just leaving your rubbish anywhere become acceptable behaviour and as for the campfires in the sandbleft for people to walk through and burn their feet, I’m lost for words.’
In the North West police foiled an illegal rave on the beach, seizing a generator, a DJ mixing deck and 20 speakers. Five arrests were made as well as 60 parking tickets issued and 15 dispersal notices at Formby beach, Merseyside.
A section 34 Dispersal Zone was put in place until 2.30pm today as a direct response to the number of people flocking there in the hot weather.
It’s ‘Weston-super-Mud’! Tourists are spotted stuck in mud flats trying to reach the water in Somerset town
Tourists were spotted stuck in mud flats trying to reach the water in a seaside town – dubbed ‘Weston-super-Mud’.
One onlooker said more than 100 people had made their way to the water during low tide in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. With temperatures hitting the 90Fs, some people headed for a dip – but a large group got stuck in mud.
Pictures show members of the local coastguard trying to help as the revellers tried to go for a paddle. A Weston-Super-Mare Coastguard Rescue Team spokesman confirmed they were called to the scene.
One witness said: ‘There was over 100 people seen making their way across the mud to reach the sea. Some were carrying children and were observed struggling to get back to the shore.’
Gardeners work to get picturesque walled gardens looking like a sea of colour before visitors are welcomed back
Gardeners have worked round the clock to get walled gardens designed by Sir Walter Scott looking like a sea of colour, before visitors are welcomed back.
Scott, who is considered to have popularised tartan and invented the historical novel, lived at Abbotsford House near Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, where he died in 1832.
He also designed the walled gardens, wanting them to be ‘intimate’ and connected to the house, which was built in Baronial style as a ‘castle in miniature’.
The gardens will reopen to the public on July 1 – having had just two people looking after them, although locals have been able to wander around the estate including the banks of the River Tweed.
The walled gardens, which would have been used as kitchen gardens during Scott’s lifetime, are a sea of colour having been lovingly maintained during the lockdown.
And this week, 15 volunteers were thrilled to be allowed back to tend to rose beds and apple trees. Entry is usually ticketed but that is being waived and a donation is being asked for.
Head gardener Tim Owen said: ‘We have been keeping things going as well as possible. The intention was to keep the garden going for people, as it would be as if people were coming in. Our main focus was on the walled garden.
‘In other areas we would go round and check the estate. We have got three miles of woodland paths for all abilities, and where the lockdown has eased we have seen families out and about.
‘The walled gardens, in Scott’s time, were kitchen gardens. We have got vegetables, fruit, apple trees and pear trees. We try to plant it to keep it going until the end of November.’
The walled gardens already have a one-way system in place and will be open to visitors on a donations basis. Signs will be put up reminding people to keep a physical distance.
Mr Owen, 54, added: ‘Everybody that’s involved loves the place. It has given volunteers a boost being allowed to come back.’
Entry is usually ticketed but since the five-metre mile travel restriction has been in place, the estate has been open to visitors.
Losses have racked up to £350,000 with no visitors coming in – and the gardens had only been opened for a couple of weeks before it had to close.
But the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £224,200 to pay for day to day costs.
Is a hosepipe ban on the way? Water levels in reservoirs are dropping so much that BEACHES have appeared
A hosepipe ban has been threatened after temperatures in Britain soared causing water levels in reservoirs to drop so much that beaches have appeared.
As people flocked to beaches and beauty spots, utility bosses warned that the dry weather and extra use of water during lockdown mean a drought is likely.
Dramatic pictures show how dry reservoirs in the North West of England have become. Levels have dropped at the Wayoh, Yarrow and Rivington reservoirs in Lancashire so much that some families have even flocked there to sunbathe.
But water bosses are now warning they may have to take ‘additional measures’ – which could include a hose pipe ban – to keep taps flowing and prevent a crisis.
Water suppliers United Utilities has written to households to say it is doing everything it can ‘to avoid having to introduce any water restrictions’.
The firm urged people to take ‘simple measures that can make a massive difference’, including avoiding using hosepipes which can save a whopping 1,000 litres an hour.
The letter states: ‘Our reservoir levels across the North West are getting to the point when we may need to take additional steps to protect our remaining water supplies.
‘We know every drop counts so we’ve got extra teams spotting and repairing leaks across the region too.’
Demand for water increased with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as people stayed at home.
After with the driest May on record in England and the sunniest start to the spring since records began in 1929, water bosses are urging people to make simple changes.
A United Utilities spokesman said: ‘Our reservoirs are lower than normal for the time of year because of the unusually fine, dry spring we have had.
‘This coupled with more people are at home due to Covid-19, and some recent very warm weather has, at times, seen customers using much more water than you’d expect.
‘Even with some sudden heavy downpours over the last week in some parts of the North West, we’ve not had enough rain to make much of a difference as we’re still using water quicker than the reservoirs can fill up.
‘And with this week’s forecast promising some very hot days ahead, we expect demand for water to increase once again. As a responsible company, we’re keeping a close eye on things and have put well-tested contingency plans in place.
‘This includes using our huge regional interconnected system of pipes to move water around our region so that we take less from sensitive water sources wherever we can, stepping up our action on leaks and cutting our own water usage.
‘We are asking our customers to help because water is a precious resource that we share with the North West’s environment.
‘There will never be a better time to make those simple changes – such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth – which have little impact on your daily life, but could add up to a big difference.’
Popular Sussex beach forced to close its car parks amid astonishing demand
One of Sussex’s most popular beaches has been forced to close its car parks after high demand paralysed the road network.
Police have also closed the A259 on the approach to the seaside destination of Camber Sands because of the sheer volume of traffic.
A spokesman for Rother District Council said: ‘Camber Sands car parks are already full and closed and a police road closure is in place – do not travel to Camber.’
Camber Sands was also gridlocked on Wednesday after ‘thousands of cars’ descended on the area and overwhelmed the car parks.
Pictures taken from the scene showed cars stacked up along the narrow roads with nowhere to move.
The huge demand has left Rother District Council concerned that emergency services would be delayed to the area in the event of an accident.
Officers in Rother are in attendance at Camber Sands and have pleaded with people to not come to the area.
It is the second day running that huge crowds of people have flocked to Camber Sands in the hot weather, enforcing closures.
A council spokesman said on Wednesday: ‘On the hottest day of the year so far, we have again seen a huge number of people heading to the beach which led to all three car parks and the overflow field being closed at 1pm.
‘This resulted in gridlock with thousands of cars queuing for hours with nowhere to go – despite signs on the main roads advising people car parks are full.’
Thrill-seeker risks his life by jumping 200ft off the top of Durdle Door just three weeks after three men were seriously injured doing exactly the same
This is the moment a thrill-seeker yesterday risked his life by jumping 200ft off the top of Durdle Door just three weeks after three men were seriously injured doing the same thing.
The young man dressed only in swimming shorts ignored warning signs and a safety fence to climb bare-foot to the top of the rocky arch on the Dorset coast.
He then flung himself off the top and plummeted with his arms outstretched before landing awkwardly in the water on his back. The impact caused a sickening smack and a huge splash.
Incredibly, the daredevil returned to the surface and swam back to the beach seemingly unscathed. The incident came three weeks after three tombstoners were hospitalised after carrying out the same stunt.
On that occasion one man who was recovered from the sea had stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated. He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.
A second man suffered serious back injuries in the fall and spent three days in hospital while the third man suffered a suspected broken leg.
A man who witnessed today’s jump said: ‘I couldn’t believe somebody was foolish enough to do it again. It was early in the day and there weren’t that many people on the beach. I spotted him start to climb the rocks to get to the top.
‘He must have been very determined because he didn’t have any trainers on or anything. Then when he got to the top he jumped without any hesitation.
‘He landed really awkwardly on his back and it made a sickening sound when he hit the water. He was very lucky not to have been badly injured or even killed, but then you don’t know if he suffered any internal injuries.’
Although tombstoning off the iconic archway at the heart of the Jurassic Coast is not allowed. there is nothing to stop people from doing so.
Coastguards have issued numerous warnings against doing so, not least as there are submerged rocks beneath the door.