UPDATE: Beauty spot to CLOSE after visitors cause "irreversible damage" to poppy field

RESIDENTS are being urged to be more respectful of a local beauty spot after visitors descended in their numbers this weekend.

Images on social media show dozens of people visiting the poppy fields in Overton on Sunday, with a stream of cars said to be blocking the road for cyclists and walkers.

One person at the site said the surrounding roads were a ‘nightmare’ to navigate, describing drivers as ‘so crazy’ with some ‘not even slowing down’ to take corners.

Other photos show evidence of the poppies themselves being trampled on.

It comes after the organisation which owns the site said it had been ‘overwhelmed’ by visitors and pleaded with people to ‘respect the signage’ and keep off the poppies.

The poppies are understood to grow on private land, with signs asking visitors to keep their distance.

However, photos posted on the Basingstoke Gazette Camera Club page on Facebook show people ignoring those rules and encroaching on the poppies.

Others say they had even seen people sitting on the poppies and posted photos which suggest this to be true.

Mike Alamar wrote: “Despite of all the signs, they keep on stepping into the crops even at the very edge,” and Doreen Kingham commented: “People are roaming the farms here walking through crops, leaving rubbish and becoming aggressive if asked to leave. I despair sometimes.”

Heather Hutchinson added: “Too many people again not doing as they’re asked to stay off the poppies. That's someone's livelihood. Respect seems to have vanished.”

It comes after Wildflower Turf shared a message on Facebook echoing as much and pleading with residents to ‘respect the signage’ and the site in general.

The post read: “Many thanks for all the donations. We are, however, starting to be overwhelmed by visitors blocking the roads, parking on private property and wandering further onto the private land of the farm.

“Please can we ask that you respect the signage, this is not a public footpath and do not bring your dogs onto the site.

“This field although beautiful is a crop and our livelihood, please stay out of the poppies.”