Residents lash out at Instagrammers flocking to beauty spot in Wales

Ruining it for the ‘gram! Instagrammers wreck beauty spot reservoir as they park illegally, dump rubbish and leave dog mess in their quest for the perfect selfie

  • Residents in Margam, near Port Talbot, Wales, say social media users are ruining stunning Brombil Reservoir
  • They and local police officers say the area is being blighted by people illegally parking and dumping rubbish
  • Locals have met with police chiefs and council bosses to discuss how to tackle growing problem at reservoir
  • They say the situation started last summer when the little-known beauty spot became a hit on social media 

Furious villagers have lashed out at Instagrammers who they say are ruining a beauty spot by parking illegally, dumping rubbish and leaving dog mess in their quest for the perfect selfie.

The enraged residents say social media users are flocking to Margam, near Port Talbot, South Wales, to snap a selfie in front of the stunning deep blue waters of the Brombil Reservoir.

The stunning valley lake, known as the ‘Blue Lagoon’, is a privately-owned reservoir which has become popular among Instagrammers because of its gorgeous turquoise hues.

But residents and the local police force say it now it is being blighted by mass crowds travelling more than 200 miles for a picture.

They also say they have faced disruption from illegal parking and have found litter carelessly thrown on the ground by people visiting the beauty spot.

One resident, Catherine Morris, 54, said: ‘It’s been really chaotic. It’s dangerous and we are just afraid that something is going to happen.

‘Last summer it all started. Somebody put pictures on Facebook and put the postcode up. Before lockdown we never had any trouble and it would only be local people going up.


Frustrated villagers say social media users are flocking to Margam, near Port Talbot, South Wales, to snap a selfie in front of the stunning deep blue waters of the Brombil Reservoir. Pictured left and right: Instagram users take pictures in front of the the stunning Brombil Reservoir – there is no suggestion that either left litter or parked illegally

The stunning valley lake, known as the ‘Blue Lagoon’, is a privately-owned reservoir which has become popular among Instagrammers because of its gorgeous turquoise hues

Residents and the local police force say it now it is being blighted by mass crowds travelling more than 200 miles for a picture – with some leaving litter (pictured)

‘It’s not like we don’t want people to have a good time. We want people to have fun but be respectful of locals.’

Police, councillors and local residents have now been forced to hold a series of meetings amid concerns over illegal parking, abandoned rubbish and dog fouling.

There are also fears that emergency service vehicles would not be able to access people in need, with cars double-parked along narrow roads at busy times.

The beauty is just a stone’s throw away from the busy M4, but can only be accessed through small village roads – some privately owned. 

South Wales Police said they are responding ‘on a regular basis’ to concerns over inconsiderate and illegal parking at Brombil.

Double yellow lines have been put in place but are often ignored, or vehicles simply move on to park in equally problematic areas nearby.

The force added: ‘We want everyone to enjoy the area, but please park responsibly and safely.’

Police, councillors and local residents have now been forced to hold a series of meetings amid concerns over illegal parking (pictured), abandoned rubbish and dog fouling

One local resident found a huge pile of rubbish, including drinks cans, bottles and food packets, dumped near to the reservoir 

There will be regular police patrols over the coming weekends and action will be taken against offenders, police have warned.

Neath Port Talbot Council has has asked that visitors stay away from the reservoir – until the issues are resolved.

A spokesperson added: ‘The council does not actively promote Brombil, which is privately owned, and some of the access roads leading to it are also privately owned.’

But many who frequent the area in a respectful manner have also expressed their anger at inconsiderate visitors.

Ian Clifford tweeted to show ‘the good and the bad’ at Brombil reservoir, and implored people to take their rubbish home with them.

On Facebook, many people wrote that they were ‘disgusted’ and ‘shocked’ by the state of the area.

One user commented: ‘I have visited this beautiful place some time ago – disgusted to see the litter left behind. Leave nothing but footprints.’ 

A spokeswoman for the force said: ‘We are regularly experiencing considerable parking and litter issues near Brombil reservoir in Margam.

‘We want everyone to enjoy the area, but please park responsibly and safely as collisions and unsafe crossing of roads can occur as a result.

‘We are responding on a regular basis to concerns over inconsiderate and illegal parking in the area. 

‘Over the coming weekends Port Talbot neighbourhood policing team, along with local authority parking enforcement and waste enforcement officers, will be patrolling regularly and if offences are identified then appropriate enforcement action will be taken.’

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