Coronavirus lockdown: Devon's beaches are already busy, whatever Boris Johnson says

Slip-on Sands was quiet on Easter weekend apart from three women that appeared to briefly contemplate emptying their beach bags before returning from the sea's edge (Photo: David Parsley for i) In Exmouth, where there had been a handful of people exercising their dogs on the two-mile stretch of sand and a dozen or so people running or cycling along the sea front, there were hundreds. People were socially distancing, but they evidently felt there was nothing wrong with making sandcastles with the kids or having a paddle. Read More: Leaving Exmouth and driving onto the A38 to the beaches of south Devon was the clincher. On the country roads through the rolling hills of the upmarket South Hams district I had my first sighting this year of a convertible with the roof down. They live up the hill in the local village of Strete, and said it was a lot busier on Thursday, as they suspected the second homeowners were showing up from the big smoke. Here too the twitchers were back, trying to spot a Cetti's warbler or Marsh harrier in the Slapton Ley freshwater reserve, just behind the beach. At the end of the beach, in the village of Slapton itself, sits a World War II tank, dragged from the depths of the sea following the tragic D-Day rehearsals of Operation Tiger, the invasion rehearsals that took place on this beach in 1944. In all 749 US soldiers and sailors lost their lives here during those rehearsals, more than did when this section of the attack landed onUtah beach.