PATROLS are being carried out at a popular beauty spots in North Wales following a surge in “extraordinary scenes” of anti-social behaviour.

North Wales Police and wardens for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will conduct late evening and early morning patrols at tourist hotspots in Conwy, Anglesey and Gwynedd as part of efforts to prevent wild camping, littering and overnight parking.

These include NRW sites such as Gwydir Park Forest Park, Newborough National Nature Reserve and Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park, where the environmental agency said enforcement action will be taken against anyone “flouting the rules” starting this weekend.

“Some of the extraordinary scenes of illegal camping, fly parking and littering we have seen at outdoor sites across Wales over recent weeks have been shocking – especially to those that work tirelessly to ensure our sites can be enjoyed by people safely,” said Dylan Williams, NRW operations manager in North Wales.

“Anti-social behaviour can harm our environment, our wildlife, the tourism sector and our local communities which are all respectively recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The increase in the number of camper vans and other vehicles parked on verges or in lay-bys can also cause significant access problems for emergency services and put lives at risk.

“We will not hesitate to take enforcement action on those we find to be breaking the rules in the hope that it will deter more people from partaking in the same disrespectful activity in the future.”

NRW launched a revamped Countryside Code in partnership with Natural England and Defra in April to respond to issues that were being raised during lockdown, such as an increase in littering and sheep worrying by dogs.

The refresh aims to help everyone enjoy parks and open spaces in a safe way, whilst encouraging them to look after our natural environments and the livelihoods of those who work there.

The ‘Rights and Permissions’ section of the Countryside Code sets out how visitors would need to seek permission from the landowner to undertake activities such as camping and freshwater swimming.