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Some carry on camping at New Forest site despite lockdown

Setthorns camp site, near Sway
Setthorns camp site, near Sway

SOME people are still living on a New Forest campsite despite the company that runs it having claimed it was closed due to the coronavirus.

Camping in the New Forest has insisted it is not breaking any rules by allowing continued use at its Setthorns site, which is one of 10 it runs throughout the district.

The A&T was contacted by a Brockenhurst villager angry that people were still at Setthorns, which is off the B3058 road from the village to Lyndhurst.

When challenged by the A&T, a spokesman for Camping in the New Forest, which had announced on 22nd March it was closing its sites, admitted some people were still living at Setthorns.

Claiming this was within government regulations, he said: “Following further contact with the site manager, we can confirm there are seven camping units on site under the provision for people to stay there where their primary residence is not available.

“There are a further seven camping units on site that belong to staff members who were still on site when the closure happened, and who are also allowed to remain on the site in accordance with government regulations.

“Anyone remaining on the site is required to follow government guidance on hygiene and social distancing,” he went on.

“You cannot see the Setthorns campsite from the road, the site is closed and there should be no visible signs to suggest otherwise to local people passing because all the camping units are tucked away.”

The spokesman continued: “Our sites remain staffed and many of our workforce live on site for security. In exceptional cases we can allow campers to remain on site, which complies with the current government requirements.

“They say: ‘Where people live in these [campsites] as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable, or they live in them in permanently they may continue to do so’.”

He added: “It’s important that we look after our contracted site staff during this unsettling time and while our campsites are closed they remain on site to look after them, ready to welcome visitors back to this beautiful area when the time is right to do so.”

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