A group of birdwatchers gathered to spot rare species were dispersed by police on Wednesday, after defying the government’s order to stay at home unless your outing is essential.
15 twitchers from across England – with at least one of them being from Swindon – congregated at the popular nature spot in Gloucestershire after sightings of a Ring Ouzel were reported.
Wildlife crime officer PC Nick Westmacott was dispatched to the scene at Cleeve Common in Cheltenham following reports about the group to police during the day.
Ten cars and 15 people were set up next to one another with long-sighted cameras and binoculars.
The group had ignored the government’s lockdown laws to travel to the common – one had travelled more than 50 miles from Birmingham to get a glimpse of the rarity.
Police are warning that driving to a location for any length of time to take ‘exercise’ is also not allowed.
“All of their details were obtained and they were politely told to go home”, PC Westmacott said.
A spokesperson for Gloucestershire Constabulary said that ‘it is not acceptable nor condoned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’, and that ‘strong words of were advice given’.
Posting on social media, a spokesperson for Cleeve Common said: “[The site] remains open but we’ve introduced measures to support social distancing. Quarry Car Park is closed until further notice to avoid a concentration of visitors in a small area.”
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