RESIDENTS of a road in Chalfont St Giles are shocked that woodland near their homes is being used for the illegal sexual practice of ‘dogging’.

The woods, off Bottrells Lane, which links the two villages, was apparently first used for the activity earlier this month, but is attracting an increasing number of people, according to internet sites.

Dogging is a practice in which people arrange to have sex in cars while others gather to watch them. It is a criminal offence and anyone caught faces prosecution for indecent exposure.

In recent weeks, a particular spot in the woods has become popular and, although most of the activity takes place late at night, it is also possible to find people there in the late afternoon and early evenings, according to a website.

One website user, posting on July 14, said: “This area is quite a new one, but more and more people have started using it over the last couple of weeks. There are lots of secluded areas which are easy to hide away in.”

Another said: “Try Bottrells Lane woods. Look for areas near to small car parking areas after dark and you’ll find some action.”

Residents were shocked to discover that the woodland is being used for the activity.

Paula Hunter, 46, said: “It is disgusting. I had no idea that this was happening so close to where we live. People take their children to that area to play, so it doesn’t bear thinking about what they could stumble upon.

“I’ve got two children myself, of 11 and nine, and there is no way I would allow them to go there now, until I know for sure that this has stopped. I am really shocked to find out about this.”

According to websites, there are other prominent dogging sites in South Bucks and police are being urged to crack down on the problem.

Kevin Hinchliffe, 57, said: “I’d heard about this going on in those woods, but it is a large area and I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going on.

“The police need to put a stop to this quickly, because it is really unpleasant to know it’s going on so close to where you live. It’s potentially very dangerous as well, especially for families with young kids.”