A PARISH council chairman has issued an urgent plea to visitors to stop using a pretty country village as a giant car park.

Jamie Curley, an Oldham ward councillor who heads up Saddleworth Parish Council, said that since the shutdown has been eased motorists have scrambled to Greenfield to visit the local beauty spot at Dovestone Reservoir.

“This has put an intolerable strain on what is a quiet small Pennine village not suited to such an invasion,” he said.

“No facilities are open and the small car parks available are quickly overrun.

"Traffic builds up dangerously on the A635 Greenfield to Holmfirth road and bikers roaring through are an added danger to a twisting road which is reduced to a single carriageway by the unthinking and selfish parking of other motorists.

“The lack of social distancing is also causing problems for teams working on the site.,People have now taken to parking elsewhere in the village and creating hazards which is not acceptable.”

And he stressed: “This is not nimbyism. The open space is obviously for everyone to enjoy, but surely not at the expense of the quality of residents' lives?

“Having spoken with several stakeholders in the management of the site, much work is being done to try to alleviate the problem.

“But faced with increased pressures the partnership of RSPB, United Utilities and Oldham Council is trying its best to keep the site within manageable limits.

"However, it is also up to the public to play their part as the pressure on the site has not been helped by advertising Dovestone as one of the top places to go near Manchester.

“A new traffic order stopping parking on Holmirth Road will help but the plea is is for people who do visit to please behave responsibly and not park irresponsibly which has caused dangerous conditions and caused some residents to feel besieged in their houses.”

He added: “Take your litter home - it’s not hard to take it back and dispose of it properly. And remember disposable barbecues are not allowed.

“While we are currently working with an increased traffic and visitor problem - this will quickly turn into other problems anf more incidences of moorland fires and dangers to wildlife, property, lives and livelihoods.

“We can make sure this doesn't happen again if people take responsibility for their own actions.”

He declared: “The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework is still hovering in the background with the plan to site 120 executive homes directly next to Dovestone. This would make an already intolerable situation completely unworkable, changing the character of a rural village and strangling a community.”