THESE aerial pictures, taken by Christchurch businessman Stephen Bath, show the huge numbers of people who flocked to the Bournemouth area at the weekend.

BCP Council has announced that too many people visited the seaside.

On May 25, the council urged people to think twice before visiting the beach with its seafront car parks at maximum capacity.

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth Pier. Picture: Stephen BathBournemouth Pier. Picture: Stephen Bath

The council said there had been a 10 to 14 per cent drop in numbers from the same period last year.

Cabinet member for tourism, Councillor Lewis Allison, said: “The advice nationally remains that people should stay at home as much as possible.

"Many people were keen to get outside and enjoy the warm weather over the bank holiday weekend, and whilst the vast majority of people were considerate and adhered to the social distancing guidelines, there were still far too many people coming to our beaches.

Bournemouth Echo: Beachgoers flocked to Sandbanks. Picture: Stephen bathBeachgoers flocked to Sandbanks. Picture: Stephen bath

“For many of our residents the beach provides the closest outdoor space and we urge everyone to think twice about travelling to our beaches. Should they find the beach is busy on their arrival they should turn away and come back at a quieter time. It is quite clear that many did not do that over this bank holiday weekend and there were certainly pinch points.

“However, overall, there were fewer people at our beaches than this time last year, and numbers were on the whole manageable.

“We thank those that stayed away and at home this bank holiday and, as half term continues, we urge people to use their common sense and relocate to other less busy locations should they find others are too close for comfort.

Bournemouth Echo: Durley Chine beach. Picture: Stephen BathDurley Chine beach. Picture: Stephen Bath

“We must remind people again that there are no lifeguards. If those visiting our beaches choose to go into the water, they do so knowing they are responsible for their own welfare.”