A POPULAR rural beauty spot has closed after an increase in visitors caused widespread littering and road blocking.

Closure signs and road barriers have been erected at Crammel Linn waterfall, near Gilsland, urging visitors to stay away.

Nearby accommodation provider Bush Nook Nights urged the public to respect the closure and told people not to climb fences to gain access.

A post on Facebook said: "Due to the actions of a significant minority of irresponsible visitors access has been closed."

In June, a letter from RAF Spadeadam and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation appeared around Crammel Linn and Irthing Gorge, in Gilsland, reminding people that there were rules to be followed when visiting the areas.

Among the listed rules was that there should be no barbecues as there was a high risk of wildfires, litter should be taken home, no fishing, dogs must be kept on leads at all times, and no camping.

A local community group was recently set up with the express aim of keeping Crammel Linn clean following a spate of littering.