Hundreds of people flocking to a reservoir in Leicestershire during the sunny weather are at risk of “leaving in a body bag”, a charity has warned.
The Canal & River Trust said that around 400 young people had been seen at Saddington Reservoir this week.
The charity said the beauty spot’s remote location and hidden hazards made it unsuitable for swimming.
Adrian Lole from the Trust said: “It’s almost like a festival by the water with no adult taking responsibility. If there’s an accident, the only way they are going to leave is in a body bag.”
He said visitors had ignored social distancing rules, with hundreds of visitors crammed into a space equivalent to a third of a football pitch.
Mr Lole said: “Everyone got excited about Bournemouth beach but they were relatively socially distanced compared to here.”
“You would have found it hard to put a slip of paper between the 400 people. It has made me disappointed.”
He believes drinking and drug-taking was common at the site, which was crammed with teenagers and people in their early 20s during the week.
The visitors left the site looking like “Glastonbury on a bad day”, with the mess and litter taking three hours to clean up each day. Mr Lole said the clean-up teams had found abandoned inflatables, broken bottles and even human faeces.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said “We have received reports of people swimming in the reservoir and concerns have also been raised regarding the way in which vehicles have been parked.”
“A meeting is due to take place with representatives from the Canal and River Trust next week about how visitors to the area can be managed.”