Parking near a popular nature reserve has been declared a "serious problem" after a fire engine was unable to get past cars.

The charity that manages Kennall Vale nature reserve at Ponsanooth has now urged people to avoid it at busy times and to "be considerate".

Nick Marriott, reserves manager for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: "Nature is inclusive, it’s here for all to enjoy. My role is to manage nature on the reserves, but recent volumes of visitors to Kennall Vale has shifted attention to people management rather than wildlife management.

"This weekend saw more traffic and parking chaos, when a fire engine got blocked by badly parked vehicles, which is a serious problem.

"There are understandable frustrations coming from the local community which we want to address, so we are looking to come together with the parish councils, fire brigade and residents to discuss and find solutions to overcrowding at Kennall Vale."

Falmouth Packet:

Cars lining the road at Ponsanooth. Photo: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

He added that in the meantime the charity is asking visitors to avoid Kennall Vale during its busiest times of Saturdays and Sundays.

"Be considerate when parking. Enjoy your time in nature, and be mindful of doing that with minimal disturbance to wildlife and the local community," he said.

Lockdown restrictions easing has led to the woodland and glades of Kennall Vale being heavily visited in recent weeks.

Before coronavirus the popular site was already experiencing issues related to a high footfall of visitors, which has now been compounded as even more people flood into the countryside to visit.

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In addition to traffic congestion another side effect of the influx of people has been increased littering, and Mr Marriott added: "Leave the reserve as you found it, and please take litter home with you.

"We need to nurture Cornwall’s wild places. Nature has been here for us during lockdown, when we needed it most. So we should return the favour and, as we connect with wildlife, protect it at the same time.”

Anyone with comments or suggestions on how to ease the overcrowding at Kennall Vale is asked to email