Roads rammed and rubbish dumped as visitors flock to Llanrhaeadr Waterfall
Hundreds of visitors experienced chaos at a popular Mid Wales beauty spot this weekend as gridlocked traffic shut nearby roads and rubbish was left on footpaths.
Vehicles could be seen bumper to bumper for miles along stretches of narrow roads leading up to Pistyll Rhaeadr over Saturday and Sunday.
The four-mile single track leading to the site near Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant is often gridlocked with traffic as people have started to park in the passing places which are designed to allow cars to get through.
And that seemed to be the case this weekend as hundreds of people were left stationary in their vehicles, unable to pass cars in front or behind.
Visitors also reported "mounds of rubbish" being left including "food and even human waste".
It comes after visitors were told to stay away from the site due to health and safety fears when upwards of 2,000 visitors per day ventured to the spot in a single weekend last month.
The site, which is home to an idyllic waterfall, has always been a popular attraction for tourists and nearby residents, but has been experiencing some of its busiest periods this year, thought to be due to the increase in Brits taking 'staycations' in light of the Covid-19 crisis.
Marcin Michalek was among the visitors who arrived on Saturday afternoon and took photos showing cars parked along the length of Waterfall Street.
The 50-year-old and his friends had travelled from Crewe and ended up leaving the car on the side of the road and walked the final mile after waiting 30 minutes for the traffic to clear.
"Oddly enough, when we got to the waterfall, we saw a lot of free places in the parking lot," Mr Michalek added, but encouraged people to avoid weekends where possible.
"Absolutely disgusting" and "just awful" were some of the terms used by visitors to describe the scenes this weekend.
Tourists reported waiting more than two hours while police were called to help deal with the traffic situation and people were eventually told to park and walk from the village.
The cleanliness of the park has also come under fire due the vast influx of holiday-goers.
Dozens of bin bags full of rubbish, reportedly including human waste, had to be collected by volunteers throughout the weekend.
Katie-anne Sargent said: "Yesterday's rubbish at the Pistyll falls – absolutely disgusting.
"They're dealing with hundreds of people leaving food, rubbish and even human waste.
"Hundreds of people already this morning attempting to get to the falls. Locals have tried closing the roads to deter visitors until this rubbish situation is sorted. Not having much luck this morning.
"So incredibly sad this is how our beautiful wildlife areas are being treated."
Volunteers warned last month that someone could die after unprecedented amounts of visitors from across the country.
Two major incidents were also recorded in a single week, in which people had to be rescued by the air ambulance and treated for multiple broken bones.
With traffic mounting and roads becoming impassible, concerns have been raised about how emergency service vehicles would attend the site should another accident occur.
Locals who are trying to manage the high levels of traffic have created a Facebook page which you can see at facebook.com/Pistyllrhaeadrwaterfall.
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