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Fury at 'hypocritical' Boardmasters festival goers for leaving Cornwall site covered in litter

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A police inspector has blasted ‘hypocritical’ young festival goers for leaving Boardmasters a mess while preaching about climate change.

Pictures from the festival site in Newquay show a trail of devastation; with tents, clothing, bottles, food wrappers and chairs strewn across the clifftop overlooking Watergate Bay. 

Revellers had been offered a refund of £10 on all camping tickets, which would be given back if they collected one full bag of waste – but many seemingly ignored this initiative. 

Regie Butler-Card, of Devon and Cornwall Police, slammed the irresponsible behaviour and pointed out the impact it will have on the environment.

He asked them to consider how much of the waste had been ‘blown wider afield’ and said organisers were paying for the clean up operation.

One local also said it was ‘very sad’ to see the amount of rubbish that had been picked up by the wind and dumped in the sea after the five-day event.

It comes as public health officials ‘monitor data’ to see if the major music festival has triggered a Covid spike in Cornwall.

Boardmasters Festival finished on Sunday, meaning any impact on infections will not become clear until later this week.

Regie Butler-Card, of Devon and Cornwall Police, slammed the irresponsible behaviour and pointed out the impact it will have on the environment. Pictured: People cleaning up the site

Regie Butler-Card, of Devon and Cornwall Police, slammed the irresponsible behaviour and pointed out the impact it will have on the environment. Pictured: People cleaning up the site

He asked them to consider how much of the waste had been 'blown wider afield' and said organisers were paying for the clean up operation

He asked them to consider how much of the waste had been ‘blown wider afield’ and said organisers were paying for the clean up operation

One local also said it was 'very sad' to see the amount of rubbish that had been picked up by the wind and dumped in the sea after the five-day event

One local also said it was ‘very sad’ to see the amount of rubbish that had been picked up by the wind and dumped in the sea after the five-day event

Mr Butler-Card said: ‘This is the remnants of Boardmasters, Newquay, 2021. The generation that lectures the world about waste and climate change had a great time. But left this mess – the sheer hypocrisy.

‘The organisers are paying to clear it. But how much has blown wider afield? How much waste?’ He said he expected better from a generation which ‘lectures the world about waste and climate change’.

A spokesman for Bodmin Police, which patrols the area where the festival is held, added: ‘This is appalling. Shame on all of you.’

About 50,000 people attended the popular site over the weekend but many left huge amounts of rubbish and belongings after the music was over.

Discarded tents, chairs, sleeping bags, plastic, glass, cardboard were among items in the fields at Watergate Bay instead of being dropped off at Boardmasters’ litter bond.

The festival team added a refundable litter bond of £10 to all camping tickets, which is refunded when festival-goers collect one full bag of waste or recycling and return it to one of the litter redemption points.

About 50,000 people attended the popular site over the weekend but many left huge amounts of rubbish and belongings after the music was over

About 50,000 people attended the popular site over the weekend but many left huge amounts of rubbish and belongings after the music was over

Discarded tents, chairs, sleeping bags, plastic, glass, cardboard were among items in the fields at Watergate Bay instead of being dropped off at Boardmasters' litter bond

Discarded tents, chairs, sleeping bags, plastic, glass, cardboard were among items in the fields at Watergate Bay instead of being dropped off at Boardmasters’ litter bond

Local resident Luis Candea said some of the rubbish had blown into the sea after windy conditions following the weekend.

He said: ‘With the rise of Covid and the subsequent lockdowns, we gave the earth a chance to repair and that it did.

‘Venice’s waters turned from brown to blue and we even seen dolphins enter, the pollution levels dropped significantly and smog cleared, air never tasted so good.

‘Wildlife became heard again, as the noise of day-to-day life was stopped. We had a clear view on how simple saving this planet could actually be.

‘At Glastonbury, David Attenborough had a huge impact on the festival-goers so much so they took all of their rubbish with them.

He added: ‘Then we get our freedoms back and revert back to being selfish beings destroying the very ground we walk on.’

The festival team added a refundable litter bond of £10 to all camping tickets, which is refunded when festival-goers collect one full bag of waste or recycling and return it to one of the litter redemption points

The festival team added a refundable litter bond of £10 to all camping tickets, which is refunded when festival-goers collect one full bag of waste or recycling and return it to one of the litter redemption points

Newquay’s five-day Boardmasters Festival finished on Sunday, meaning any impact on infections won’t become clear until later this week. 

All ticket holders had to show proof of double vaccination, natural immunity or a recent negative lateral flow test to enter the festival site.

But some festival-goers have already voiced fears about infections spreading through the crowd. One tweeted: ‘100 per cent of the people we know who attended Boardmasters have come home and tested positive for Covid. Not even from the same groups of friends.’ 

Another wrote: ‘My son and two friends have all just tested positive. All single jabbed and all tested negative at the event.’

The Newquay area already had one of the country’s highest Covid infection rates before the festival began. 

And four of the top 10 parts of England areas with the biggest outbreaks are in Cornwall, according to MailOnline analysis. Experts said it showed staycations were fuelling the local crisis.

Official data shows 1,067 people per 100,000 had Covid in Newquay West in the seven days leading up to August 11. And Newquay East (1,033), Falmouth East (971) and Penryn (887) all made the top eight locations in England with the most cases of the coronavirus, higher than densely-populated Manchester and London

Official data shows 1,067 people per 100,000 had Covid in Newquay West in the seven days leading up to August 11. And Newquay East (1,033), Falmouth East (971) and Penryn (887) all made the top eight locations in England with the most cases of the coronavirus, higher than densely-populated Manchester and London

Over 1,000 people per 100,000 tested positive for Covid in parts of the rural county last week, higher than levels in major cities which have typically been hotbeds for the virus.

Local health chiefs warned that Cornwall attracts a lot of young holidaymakers, many of whom have had one or no vaccines.  

Experts told MailOnline the G7 summit in June likely ‘seeded’ the outbreak, which has since been amplified by staycationers during the school break.

More Britons than usual are opting to holiday in the UK due to extortionate PCR tests required to go abroad, as well as concerns about the virus.

It comes as 1.7million Britons gathered at the weekend in the largest crowds seen since before the pandemic, with football, cricket, music and arts festivals returning at full capacity for the first time in 19 months.

Official data shows 1,067 people per 100,000 had Covid in Newquay West in the seven days leading up to August 11.

And beach destinations Newquay East (1,033), Falmouth East (971) and Penryn (887) all made the top ten locations with the highest proportion of positive tests — more than densely-populated Manchester and London.

The only place in the country with more infected people than Newquay West was Summerfield in Birmingham (1,105 per 100,000). And rising numbers of young holidaymakers have been blamed by local council leaders. 

Local health officials said the G7 summit and young unvaccinated people visiting the coastal county for holidays may be fuelling rising case numbers. Pictured: festivalgoers watching Dizzy Rascal at Boardmasters Festival on Sunday

Local health officials said the G7 summit and young unvaccinated people visiting the coastal county for holidays may be fuelling rising case numbers. Pictured: festivalgoers watching Dizzy Rascal at Boardmasters Festival on Sunday

CORNWALL: Covid cases have been on the rise since early June, with local health officials and experts warning the G7 summit likely cause the initial outbreak, which was then 'amplified' by holidaymakers over the summer months

CORNWALL: Covid cases have been on the rise since early June, with local health officials and experts warning the G7 summit likely cause the initial outbreak, which was then ‘amplified’ by holidaymakers over the summer months

Ruth Goldstein, Cornwall Council’s deputy director of public health, told the BBC last week the areas experiencing the highest infection levels were ‘holiday hot-spots that attract a lot of young people’.

She said: ‘It’s what we expect because we know that the younger people have only had one, and in some case no, vaccine; so, unfortunately, it’s easier to transmit.’ 

And Jane Kirkham, Cornwall councillor for Falmouth Penwerris, told the broadcaster infection levels had been high in the area ‘off-and-on since the main reopening [lifting of restrictions] and the G7, I suppose’.

A handful of hotels, cafes and bars in the surrounding area were forced to shut after summit because of Covid outbreaks and Cornwall’s infection rate quadrupled in size. 

Leaders from the UK, US, Canada , Japan, France , Germany and Italy decadence on Cornwall for the G7 summit in June, along with their teams, security staff, journalists and protesters. 

Ms Kirkham said: ‘We do have a younger demographic than a lot of the rest of Cornwall, so I think that has contributed to our numbers, and that we have a lot of visitors here as well.’ 

Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George, who was elected to Cornwall Council in May, told MailOnline: ‘Resort areas of Cornwall appear to have the highest and still growing levels of Covid.

‘I don’t think it is primarily caused by holiday makers themselves, but by poor infection control rules. 

‘If we had a Government which followed the science rather than chased headlines it would create a safer environment in which people could safely enjoy themselves and protect the vulnerable. 

‘Death rates are still unacceptably high. But you wouldn’t think it from the lax attitude promoted by Government ministers.’

Professor Gary McLean, a molecular immunologist at London Metropolitan University, told MailOnline: ‘Cornwall, during the pandemic had usually fared much better than other areas, perhaps due to its relative isolation geographically and lower population density. 

‘However since the G7 summit in early June, case numbers have been increasing at a rate that is amongst the highest in England. 

‘This was likely seeded by the summit and influx of people at that time and has potentially been amplified by continued ‘staycation’ tourism to the region during the school holidays. 

‘This is of great concern for the region and for those returning home from holidays in Cornwall – it will need to be monitored very carefully over the next few weeks.’

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline he suspects the high numbers of infected people in the area is down to more than holidaymakers.

He said: ‘Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly, along with Devon, have had the lowest total cases to date up to the August 16 in England so a lot of people not immune. 

‘But cases started to surge from early June before a lot of holiday makers started to descend and that was probably associated with the G7 meeting.’ 

Professor Hunter added: ‘There is a general trend in the UK that those local authorities that have had most infections to date over the whole epidemic are not seeing as big percentage increases week on week and are more likely to be seeing falling case numbers.

‘So is the epidemic in Cornwall because of low population immunity because of low past infection rates with the trigger being G7 or is it due to holiday makers? It is probably a bit of both.’

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