Published: 11:03, 21 February 2021
| Updated: 10:11, 22 February 2021
A mum has labelled the closure of park toilets a "health hazard" after she and her daughter found themselves surrounded by grown men urinating and defecating in plain sight.
Medway Council shut its play areas and car parks at Riverside and Capstone country parks yesterday.
It came amid alarming visitor numbers with families looking to take advantage of the improved weather.
Twydall resident Emma Stevens paid a visit to Riverside with her daughter around 2.30pm before the closure and was disturbed by what she found.
On arrival the 37-year-old headed towards the woodlands where she claims people were urinating and defecating in bushes.
"Me and my daughter were walking over and I though 'ugh' - a lot of people were using it for number twos.
"This old man came over and started urinating near us. I had to tell the police."
She added: "With the amount of people, they should have a toilet open, it is a health hazard."
However, the council says it is doing its best to keep visitors safe and socially isolated.
The mum said the park was mainly full of groups of youngsters and others clearly not from the same family.
Although there were no Covid marshals in sight, two police cars turned up and patrolled.
"It was packed," she said. "I have lived her 20 years and I have never seen it so packed. It was like a bank holiday at the seaside."
Some visitors took to social media to complain about being turned away by police at park entrances.
The local authority said it understood people would be upset with the decision, but wanted to keep people safe during the pandemic.
Its decision sparked a huge debate, with many disagreeing.
One park user said: "It is half term and the first day in a very long time when the weather has been nice, so of course people have decided to visit their local country park with their family which is within the current government guidelines."
Weighing in on the debate, Emma added: "The problem is there is not enough green spaces."
"I would have loved to have gone to Sheppey but I can't go there because I would get a fine."
"I have lived her 20 years and I have never seen it so packed. It was like a bank holiday at the seaside."
Elsewhere, a woman blasted park users failing to social distance while queuing for a burger van at a country park in Snodland.
The car parks and cafes are expected to reopen at Riverside and Capstone country parks today but the children’s play areas will remain closed.