POLICE have complained that the New Forest was packed with vehicles today - some from as far afield as Guildford in Surrey.

Officers have accused visitors of flouting coronavirus restrictions by travelling long distances to enjoy a day out in the Forest.

Posting on social media Totton Cops said: "Officers out on Covid patrols have been engaging with the members of the public.

"We found that every single car park is ram-packed with vehicles.

"When members of the public were asked where they have travelled from, some said their home addresses are in places such as Guildford and Dorset.

"People are travelling from areas that are not local to the New Forest.

"We are in a lockdown, you should only be travelling locally. Guildford is over 55 miles from the New Forest. This is not local.

"While we still await the government to define what 'local' is, please use your common sense and stick to your town/city."

In an earlier post they said: "Yesterday afternoon two officers were deployed to a business that was operating outside of Covid regulations.

"The people who were working tried lying about what they were doing and, in the process, talked the business into being reported for breaching (the) regulations."

The influx of visitors to the Forest has sparked fury on social media.

One person posted: "We went to the Forest today locally and every car park was packed. Even parking on the road, making it hard to pass safely. Ridiculous. They should be handed a fine."

Tourists hot spots such as Lyndhurst, Holmsley and Deerleap were reported to be particularly busy.

One woman posted: "Holmsley car park was rammed - almost like it was the summer holidays. All parked along the verge and were really rude when I told them parking on verges isn't allowed."

Another social media user added: "We live in the Forest and won’t go out because of the stupidity of others who don’t live locally."

A dog walker said: "It is crazy out there today. Didn't risk Goatee or Eling, it was rammed."