Police and the council are cracking down on visitors to a popular beauty spot who continue to park illegally.

Those parking inappropriately around the National Trust’s Dunham Massey will now face significant fines and could even have their car towed away.

The house on the sprawling country estate still remains closed, but the gardens and park, which includes a public right of way, are now open.

Dunham Massey recently reopened their car park for pre-bookings but parking space is reduced to around 30 percent of the normal capacity due to social distancing requirements, and all public facilities remain closed.

While the pre-booking service was widely publicised, visitors from across the region are still arriving without a reservation and causing parking issues around the local area.

Tickets are released online via the Dunham Massey website every Friday and all bookings for this week up to June 21 have already sold out.

As there is very little street parking local to Dunham Massey, the number of visitors over recent weeks has caused issues for local residents and has even prevented emergency vehicles from getting through in some cases.

Shan Nasim, Chief Inspector from Greater Manchester Police, said: “We have been listening to local residents’ concerns, which include visitors leaving a large amount of litter, drinking alcohol in the open spaces, having BBQ’s in the park – which is a potential fire hazard – and inconsiderate and dangerous parking.

“Over recent weeks we have seen a large volume of visitors to Dunham Massey who have not pre-booked a parking space and subsequently parked illegally on local roads.

"The parking has caused issues for emergency service vehicles accessing the area and obstructed pavements, creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians and other road users.”

Cllr Mike Freeman, the council’s executive member for public safety, said: “Parking enforcement officers have been on patrol around Dunham Massey issuing penalty charge notices.  This has not deterred some visitors who would rather pay the fines than park their vehicles responsibly.

“From this weekend and over the coming weeks we will be working with Greater Manchester Police and partner agencies to enforce parking restrictions and challenge poor behaviour.

“We want visitors to be able to enjoy our beautiful open spaces and parks, but it is important they do so in a responsible way that doesn’t cause harm to others.”

Chief Insp Nasim added: “Vehicles which are parked in a dangerous position or causing obstruction may be removed.  This is a last resort but there has been constant engagement with visitors over the last few weeks.

“This could mean groups returning from a day out to find that the vehicle has been removed and have no means of returning home. We really want to avoid this position so please do not attend the area without car parking arrangements.”

Dunham Massey parking permits are released every Friday for the following week on the National Trust website at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey.