A BEAUTY spot is being spoilt by sheep droppings one of its frequent visitors has claimed.

But the National Trust has said the sheep are providing an essential service as "nature's lawn mowers".

Godfrey Bell has said Dover’s Hill, near Chipping Campden, is seeing more sheep than previously that are leaving the droppings all across the hill.

Mr Bell, of Chipping Campden, said: “It is so much worse than it used to be.

“There appear to be more sheep, leaving droppings everywhere.

“When you leave the car park and walk to the main lookout, you now spend your entire time trying to avoid it.

“The National Trust put sheep there to control the grass, but they just wander all over.

“The famous Dover’s Hill is now hardly the place for a picnic or relaxing on the grass.

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“The views are spectacular and it would be a wonderful place to picnic or sit on the grass to chat and take in the view, but for the sheep droppings.

“The visitor attraction could be vastly enhanced simply by fencing off the sheep from the main Cotswold Way walk which crosses the hill or the area between the car park and the topograph.

“Or banning the sheep from the hilltop itself and having them graze lower down.

“This would require getting the hilltop grass mown occasionally.

“The sheep on the hilltop around the topograph certainly make a lovely bucolic scene - but if they kept the main attraction free of sheep mess, it could be just as beautiful and more visitor-friendly.”

In a statement a National Trust spokesman said: "Sheep are nature’s lawn mowers but don’t run on fuel and can reach more inaccessible areas here along with all other locations.

"They help provide an essential service by grazing the land.

"If they didn’t help with this the area could quickly become inaccessible.

"Placing sheep behind fencing would be hugely costly and unnecessary, not something we can afford."