HUNDREDS of people gathered at a New Forest beauty spot yesterday - just weeks after villagers complained about anti-social behaviour in the area.

Passers-by said about 500 flocked to an area known as Brock Beach - a large area of shingle beside a shallow stretch of the Lymington River.

Children could be seen jumping off the bridge that carries the busy A337 Lyndhurst to Brockenhurst over the river.

Other youngsters jumped on the back of New Forest ponies and rode them through the water, according to reports on social media.

One person posted: "I was driving through Brockenhurst to Lymington and was gob-smacked to see about 500 people at Balmer Lawn.

"Children jumping off the bridge into the water and children riding on the New Forest ponies while in the water. No social distancing whatsoever.

"And about 50 cars, vans and motor homes by the side of the road. A massive pool party. The police have been informed. Those people are asking for a second wave."

In June Brockenhurst residents complained about hordes of people converging on Brock Beach on hot weekends.

The issue was raised at a meeting of the local parish council, with critics complaining that people turning up at the site were ignoring social distancing regulations.

One speaker also complained that rubbish including dog mess, dirty nappies and rotting food had been left behind by visitors.

Concerns have also been raised about the number of people cooling off in another expanse of water - Hatchet Pond between Beaulieu and Lymington.

One social media user said: "People have taken to swimming in Hatchet Pond.

"I know it's stupidly hot but it's so dangerous. Firstly it has currents and rip currents - one of the rare ponds that do - not to mention all the wildlife that swim, drink and defecate in that pond.

"Also people have been known to dump stuff in there.

"I should know I cut my foot on a jagged pipe that had been put in there and got very sick from it. So please, I beg you, don't swim in there." 🤮