Fly-tippers dump caravan at Cotswold Water Park
STAFF at the Cotswold Water Park have been left stunned by "one of the worst" cases of fly-tipping ever - with a caravan full of rubbish dumped at the beauty spot.
Fly-tippers destroyed a height barrier when they towed the caravan into the Waterhay Car Park near Ashton Keynes.
The caravan was ripped in half as it smashed through the barrier, with the bottom half left at the entrance and the top half dragged into the car park.
After blocking the entrance to the car park, the fly-tippers sawed down gateposts to make their escape.
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Local residents found the caravan, which was full of household waste.
A spokeswoman for the Cotswold Water Park Trust said this was "one of the worst recorded incidents" of fly-tipping at the site.
After the initial shock of the discovery, the local community banded together to restore the car park to its previous condition within just a day of the incident happening.
The spokeswoman said: "Thankfully, within 24-hours the Cotswold Water Park ranger team, assisted by local farmers Richard Rummings, and Nick and Chris Freeth, along with local mechanic Matt Freeth, had totally cleared the site, fixed the entrance and height barriers, and reopened the car park."
Wiltshire police officers are investigating the fly-tipping incident.
The car park is a popular starting point for bird watchers, horse riders, cyclists and walkers who are accessing the Thames path and the many lakes in the area.
Last year, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust had to deal with a number of fly-tipping offences around Ashton Keynes.
This included an incident where 50 tyres were dumped at a nature reserve.
Old chemical drums have also been fly-tipped in the area.
Fly-tipping incidents at the Cotswold Water Park over the years have also included alcohol containers being dumped by revellers.
In 2010, park staff had to clean up more than 100 beer cans, bottles and food packages after a rave near the Cleveland Lakes nature reserve.