LOCALS have slammed tourists who this week set up a massive "encampment" of tents to hog a Cornish beach with some claiming the invaders are German.

The long line of windbreaks surrounded by shelters appeared early in the morning on Porthmeor Beach in St Ives.

Other holidaymakers arrived at the popular site to discover a large area had been cordoned off by the breaks and tents.

People took to social media to slam the selfish day-trippers with some claiming they are German "sunbed stealers".

The six tents remained in place on Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Cornwall, all day on Thursday, August 2.

One holidaymaker, Debra Palfreyman, took a picture of the scene when she was on the beach at 8.45am yesterday.

Debra, from South Yorkshire, said: "We got to Porthmeor Beach yesterday at about 8.45am and that was the sight that greeted us.

"All set up and no one around. It actually increased by two more tents and wind-breaks after I had taken the picture.

"It appeared to be lots of family members/friends, although none of us could work out why they needed so many tents or how they could talk to each other being so far apart."

Debra initially shared the image on Facebook and wrote: "Any ideas what this is on Porthmeor today? I think the immigration camp from Calais has moved here!"

Many people commented on the post, which was shared in a St Ives community group.

Peter Durrant wrote: ''Germans - they're moved on from putting towels on the sunbeds.''

June Green said: ''Looks like the Germans have bagged their space for tomorrow."

Suzanne Hynam added: ''Looks a bit like Germans claiming their sunbeds at dawn. No offence intended please.''

Others speculated they are "second home owners from London".

One person wrote: "Do you think they've been told by the owner or owners of the apartments they've been renting that they own that part of the beach? It has been known."

And another said: "Suppose they are just avoiding and beating the potential sunbed wars they feel could ensue.

"It happens abroad, so maybe they thought it would happen on 'meor.

"Claim their space for the entire week by barricades of tents and windbreaks.

"As a kid we used to dig a trench and build a little wall of sand around our space which had family and friends in maybe up to 15 + but this does seem a little excessive."