POTENTIAL visitors to Brownsea Island are turning back under the mistaken belief the island's ferry is not running, the National Trust says.

Since Sandbanks chain ferry services were suspended, due to mechanical issues, some Brownsea visitors have been under the misapprehension that this means the separate Brownsea Island ferry service is affected.

National Trust marketing and communications officer Laura Williams said: "Here at Brownsea, we’ve had people assume they can’t reach the island as they see ‘chain ferry closed’ and read ‘Sandbanks ferries closed’.

"In fact, the Brownsea Island ferry, which has a private operator, is still running its regular service.

"We’ve been trying to get this message out via our communications channels."

The Sandbanks chain ferry, which links Sandbanks to Studland across the entrance of Poole Harbour, has been out of action since July. The vessel broke a drive shaft and is currently undergoing repairs.

Drivers have faced a 25-mile road journey, and will continue to do so until repairs are completed in October.

This latest problem comes after chain ferry services were suspended for almost three months last winter due to annual maintenance and then a hydraulic problem.

Some local councillors and commuters have called for the ferry company to be stripped of its operating licence.

Earlier this week the National Trust announced Brownsea Island's camping season will draw to a close next month.

Hundreds of campers have stayed overnight on the island this summer.

Some have arrived on the island’s South Shore Beach via kayak, for that added challenge, but the majority use the Brownsea Ferry.

Outdoors Centre manager Amanda Shorey said: “Our camping offer gives you the chance to escape from the bustle of daily life and explore the island without needing to worry about getting the last ferry home. And our adventure weekends give you a chance to try fun activities including archery, canoeing and low ropes.

The last adventure weekend, at the island's 200-pitch campsite, is set for September 14/15.

Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/brownsea-island for information.