A CAMPER van user from Poole has said that those staying overnight in motorhomes across the area are “giving the rest of us a bad name”.

The Broadstone resident, who uses her motorhome as a day vehicle to visit Dorset beaches with her family, said her mobile home was pictured in an article by the Daily Mail on overnight camping.

The family, who pay £110 pounds a year for the beach parking permit, say the onboard facilities not only make it safer, but the size of their vehicle means that social distancing is also observed by her family members.

She said: “We don’t leave the van over night or sleep in it but do park it up early in the morning and evening to make the most of our local beach and to be honest it’s been such a tonic.

“We also have our own toilet which means we do not have to use public facilities which in the present time we do not feel is that safe.

“We have the faculty to wash our hands properly which is so important, and the van gives us space so that we can safely social distance.”

The family, who have only been using their mobile home since the lockdown restrictions have been eased, said the additional space means they are also able to transport their outdoor equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards with relative ease.

In response to visitors to the area using their motorhomes to camp in during the lockdown, the Broadstone resident said it is “terrible” and that, as a result, Dorset residents are also being unfairly included in the criticism.

“We think it is terrible and giving the rest of us a bad name,” she said.

“A lot of people we know use them as a day vehicle and, when used correctly, I really can’t see what harm they do.

The Poole resident added: “We have followed all rules at all time and only started going out when the rules changed even though we only live up the road.”

The warm Bank Holiday weekend saw thousands of visitors flock to beauty spots on the south coast.

Mudeford Quay, one of a number of sites across the BCP area which has been used by overnight campers recently, saw “at least five camper vans of varying types parked overnight” during the long weekend, according to Highcliffe resident Laurie Philips.

He added: “This was the first holiday weekend since Christmas that the Mudeford Quay car park has been opened and as I feared yesterday, we were chock a block with cars and people.

“The request not to do so has been ignored and BPC Council has lost at least 60 hours of car park charges.”

Mayor of Christchurch Lesley Dedman responded, saying: “This as we know is a perennial problem, which does not lessen the importance of prevention.

“I have seen our teams in the area, and as the Leader of the Council is now liaising with the police, I am sure we will be able to come back to you with plans for stopping the overnight parking, and for ensuring that all vehicles parked are paying the fee.”