VISITORS flocked to Dovestone Reservoir over the Easter weekend in spite of pleas to stay away from Oldham Council and wildlife charity RSPB.

The result of this surge in visitors was the closure of the car park on multiple days by security marshals attempting to keep the traffic moving, say council bosses.

Protec Security, which monitors the ongoing contentious parking situation, had to tell drivers to be mindful of residents’ driveways when the car park and surrounding lay-bys were all full.

"However, unfortunately many people, upon realising that legal parking was not an option, decided to park illegally – putting the public and other road users at risk," a council spokesperson said.

"This therefore forced traffic wardens into issuing fixed penalty notices to over 170 drivers from Friday 2 to Monday 5 April."

Deputy chief executive of Oldham Council Helen Lockwood said: “It is great that people are taking the opportunity to visit our local beauty spots, but due to the irresponsible way people are treating Dovestone Reservoir with regards to parking it’s proving problematic.

“Its popularity is causing chaos when it comes to traffic management and despite the collective efforts of the RSPB, United Utilities and ourselves to try and dissuade visitors from going it seems to be falling on deaf ears.

“The problem we face is queues of traffic trying to enter the car park and therefore blocking access, as well as many people parking illegally and dangerously nearby when they can’t find a space.

“We will continue to work with the RSPB and United Utilities to manage the issue, but we are urging people to visit one of the many other scenic spots Oldham has to offer instead.”

For more information on other places to visit in Oldham, go to the website: