Rule-breaking campers fell victim to the Dales weather at the weekend when their illegal wild camping site got washed out.
The group arrived in a minibus on Saturday and set up camp near Kisdon Force at Keld — despite Covid-rules banning overnight stays until at least April 12.
Heavy rain meant their campsite got soaked however, with water running through their tent.
After a soggy night, the group knocked on a local resident’s door early on Sunday morning to ask to use their phone as they had no mobile signal and wanted a lift back to Sunderland.
Residents later found they had abandoned their tent, as well as leaving litter and broken glass at the beauty spot.
Matthew Teague, who runs the Keld Lodge Hotel and Restaurant, saw the campers sheltering from the rain under trees.
He said: “They’d have been absolutely soaked.
“They obviously didn’t have a clue — the tent door was facing into the wind and rain, and they’d tried to light a fire with wet logs.”
The area had similar problems with anti-social behaviour from visitors last year, with locals believing people came to the Dales because the pubs were shut and foreign holidays were banned.
“This is probably what we’re going to see for the next few weeks until pubs open up again,” Matthew added.
“It’s going to be left to locals to clean up the mess — you do wonder if these people were dragged up.”
Local residents are planning a working party on Tuesday to clean up the mess, pictured below.
The incident has caused concern on social media, as well as bemusement that the visitors had failed to prepare for the Dales weather.
One local resident said: “We watched in disbelief as they all trooped out with tents, chairs and two crates of beer, and headed off down the path, at which point the mini bus departed.”
“If you are going to break the law, look at the weather forecast before letting your transport out of the area,” another added.
Another person said: “I am loving this story and how Keld’s weather sent them home with their tails between their legs.”