Popular swimming spot closed due to people flouting lockdown rules

Popular swimming spot Warleigh Weir has been closed off to the public due to coronavirus lockdown rule-breakers.

Police and the owner of the land near Bath took the decision after a “small number” of people were spotted not following social distancing guidelines at the weir.

A post on the Warleigh Weir Project Guardians Facebook page on Sunday (April 26) says the island will be re-opened if police are “comfortable” with the situation, Somerset Live reports.

The Facebook post reads: “As of today (April 26) the local police, with the support of the island owner, have decided to close off the field and river island that is popular with local people.

“This is due to a small number of people persistently not adhering to social distance guidance.

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“For the avoidance of doubt the river island at Warleigh Weir:

  • is privately owned
  • is not “public access” land
  • is not a public right of way (save for a 1.5m wide footpath across the island)
  • has been purchased and is managed to ensure sustainable use of the countryside for all – this includes a need for the use to be responsible and not to the detriment of the health of others.

“As soon as the local police are comfortable with the situation the island will be re-opened.”

In 2018, the land was bought by Warleigh Island Conservation Project Ltd, a not-for-profit social enterprise founded by local entrepreneur, property developer, and philanthropist Johnny Palmer.

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