A BEACH which was forced to shut after large crowds flocked to its shores is reopening again today - to pre-booked ticket holders only.

West Wittering Beach closed on March 21, just before the coronavirus lockdown was implemented.

The beauty spot is now open again but has a strict booking system in place to limit visitor numbers, and parking tickets have already sold out for every day this week.

Visitors can book parking space tickets in advance online or though the Just Park app.

Tickets issued by the West Wittering Beach estate are for full-day parking only, between 7am and 8.30pm. Visitors must make sure they book between these times to get their full day's parking.

All day parking tickets cost £8 during the week and £9 for the weekend, with last admissions at 7pm. Valid annual season ticket holders do not need to book.

The beach is open to cars and minibuses only, and no caravans, trailers or horse boxes are permitted.

Beach-goers should bear in mind that if they do not book a parking space in advance and spaces are full or have already sold out, they will be turned away. It is strongly advised visitors do not travel to the site without a ticket, as there is no parking in the village.

The toilets will be open in line with Government guidelines and the cafe will offer a takeaway service only.

Dogs are welcome but they are not permitted in the Blue Flag bathing zone area, in line with the beach huts.

Visitors are reminded there is still no lifeguard service in operation and they are entering the water at their own risk.

It comes after the RNLI called on the Government to restrict access to beaches, following the deaths of two people on the Cornwall coast on Bank Holiday Monday.

The lifeguard charity had its busiest weekend of the year so far, as thousands of people flocked to beaches to make the most of the sunshine and warmer weather.

The RNLI had previously issued warnings there would be no lifeguards patrolling beaches over the bank holiday.

Mark Dowie, chief executive of the RNLI said: "As a lifesaving charity, the RNLI cannot stop people going to beaches - but the Government can - before more lives are lost around our coast this summer."