Visitors to a country park in Wales were left fuming after its car park was “taken over” by a film crew. The site at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, was reportedly being used for three days by the production company behind the BBC series Casualty.
Angry visitors claimed on Wednesday that parking attendants told them to move their cars despite their saying they had already paid to park there. Attendants were also reportedly blocking off empty spaces with traffic cones.
Pictures from the country park car park show HGVs and trailers taking up spaces.
Visitors claim they spotted catering vans, security, diesel generators, and portable toilets, Wales Online reports.
By Thursday, they said the situation had become “even worse”, claiming the film crew arrived early to seal off the main entrances to the car park.
To make matters worse, visitors claim crews had also encroached on the overflow car park.
Rob said he visits the country park daily to walk his friend’s dog, describing the picturesque place as his “escape”.
He added: “This has shocked me. Myself and many people can’t go on the beaches this time of year, so we come over here because we’re allowed to. If you drive with your dog to Cosmeston, you’re supposed to be able to park.”
His friend Suzanne, 61, said she was looking forward to bringing down her disabled cousin on Thursday for a day out in the park.
She said: “My cousin has a very serious disease. He can only shuffle and can only walk a very, very short distance, so the plan was to bring him and some of his disabled friends for a picnic on the benches in the middle of the car park.”
But Suzanne said she was forced to cancel the picnic, adding: “They can’t walk this far back. They can’t access these picnic tables with all these HGVs around.
“And all they’ll see is the lorries – a corral of lorries.”
She also claimed there had been “no notification at all” to visitors that the film crew would be using the car park.
Suzanne said: “If people are planning picnics, you can’t plan…I wish there had been a notification so we could adjust plans.”
Wales Online reports that Vale of Glamorgan Council invited businesses to tender offers to use the country park as a location for commercial opportunities to help develop the area’s tourism prospects in 2016.
Suzanne said of the decision: “I don’t how how it’s going to bring tourism to the park when there are large HGV lorries reversing in and out.”
The spokesperson for the Vale of Glamorgan Council said: “The film crew are using part of the main car park at Cosmeston and the overflow parking field. The majority of the car park remains open to visitors.”
They added: “The council regularly accommodates filming across its facilities and we always seek to ensure minimal disruption to residents and visitors.
“As well as the economic benefits this brings to local businesses, filming also generates much-needed income which in the case of Cosmeston is all invested directly back into the country park.”