THERE have been renewed calls for people to stay away from the Lake District after a woman was apparently caught short in a popular tourist town.

The bizarre incident, which saw her squat with her trousers down in an apparent attempt to go to the toilet by a parked car, was recorded on Church Street in Bowness.

Public toilets in Windermere and Bowness are currently closed, with local councils feeling the safety of the cleaners and members of the public could not be ensured.

“It’s disgusting, people shouldn’t be doing that,” said Julie Hartley, clerk of Windermere Town Council, after the incident last Thursday. “I don’t think it’s acceptable for anyone to do that whether there’s public toilets or not. There’s planning ahead isn’t there?

“What’s she doing? Where has she come from? How far has she travelled?

"She can’t be living locally if she’s having to do that, one would imagine.”

Mrs Hartley said three items needed to be addressed before the public toilets in Windermere and Bowness, which are managed on behalf of the council by the Bowness and Windermere Community Care Trust, could be opened. She said contactless software needed to be installed for payments; the cleaning company needed to be able to guarantee the safety of its staff; and the toilet queues needed to be looked at and probably staffed and signposted.

Mrs Hartley called on people to stay away from the Lake District for the time being, saying it was ‘not open by any stretch of the imagination’.

“No pubs open. No restaurants open, there’s no shops open, no attractions like Beatrix Potter...why would you come?” she said.

Kevin Holmes, district councillor for Bowness and Levens, said: “Everybody seems to be coming straightaway before things have had a chance to be opened.

“You can’t tell me that people up on the fells don’t get taken short - and there’s no toilets up there. I’m not here to judge people’s needs.

“All we can do is to try and give them the facilities which normally are there, but they have come before we have had the chance to get everything disinfected, cleaned and opened-up correctly.”