Brazen families from different towns met up at Burnham Beeches for an outdoor “party” during lockdown, it has been claimed – amid concerns from councillors that police are “not doing their job”.

A string of measures have been put in place as the protected Burnham Beeches site struggles under the weight of visitors heading there during lockdown for outdoor exercise.

But Cllr Dev Dhillon said people are still not following the rules – claiming he was at the site with a park ranger when he came across three families who had met up there from different areas.

ALSO READ: Burnham Beeches to shut half its car parks as visitors TRIPLE and cause damage to woodland

Speaking at the Beeches Community Board meeting on February 17, Cllr Dhillon said: “We have seen last week, when I had a ranger with me, three groups sharing some food – one family from Aylesbury, one from Wembley and one from Farnham Common.

“They were meeting together for a party. We asked, ‘should you be this far from Aylesbury or Wembley?’

“Burnham Beeches has a coffee shop which advertises regularly on Facebook and encourages people to come in there – Burnham Beeches cannot have a business in there that they want to encourage and reduce the visitors coming into the site.”

It was revealed at the end of January that the City of London Corporation, which manages the site, was closing half its car parks to protect the Beeches because of the sheer number of visitors during lockdown.

The Corporation says the huge rise in visitor numbers is harming sensitive habitats, and concerns are growing that permanent damage will be done unless action is taken.

But Cllr Trevor Egleton said many people visiting the Site of Special Scientific Interest are not even going there for their daily exercise in the first place.

ALSO READ: Upset as 'incredibly high' number of visitors to protected woodland causes 'erosion and trampling'

He said: “I have witnessed several cars turn up, they don’t go and take any exercise, car loads of people meeting up socially in the open and they head for the café. I don’t know what we do.

“We do have a PCSO [Police Community Support Officer] driving around, which we have always had. The PCSO should get out of the car, because I have never seen them leave the police car, and patrol the car parks and the cafes.

“We’re going to be in this Covid situation for at least another six months – we need to encourage our police to take a more active role. The café is a hotspot now I think. It is full up and people don’t social distance. Police are not doing their job.”