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Clear message from police and National Parks - ‘Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.’

30 April 2020

In an effort to protect visitors and local communities, the North York Moors National Park Authority, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Cleveland Police and North Yorkshire Police are urging people once again to stay home this weekend to help combat the coronavirus.

Government guidance has not changed. People should be avoiding all non-essential travel into or around the National Parks, and when heading out for exercise this should be done locally using open spaces near to home.

These measures have been put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, to protect our NHS and to save lives.

Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We recognise that the clear majority of people are following the guidance and we are truly thankful to all those individuals. But we must remain resilient and patient if we are to beat COVID-19 so our weekend message is clear. Stay home. Stay Safe. Save lives.”

David Butterworth, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said “People should not be making special journeys to the countryside to exercise, but to use the green spaces nearest to them. Many in our community fall into most the vulnerable category of people. Please show them the consideration you would your own family and friends, and visit when the time is right.

Mike Walker, North Yorkshire Police's Assistant Chief Constable and Gold commander leading the response to COVID-19, said: "Our high-visibility patrols will continue, as police officers engage, explain and encourage members of the public to adhere to the guidelines.

"The vast majority of people are doing just that, but there are some who continue to flout the rules. The guidance has not changed - exercise can be taken from your doorstep, so there is no justifiable reason to make lengthy journeys into National Parks or anywhere else.

"Please remember - by doing the right thing now, we will stop the spread of this virus, and protect the NHS, the vulnerable, and our loved ones."

Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, Head of Local Policing at Cleveland Police, said: “The Force has not relaxed the government lockdown rules and we will be continuing to patrol our four districts over the weekend and beyond to ensure people are complying with the rules. We understand it is difficult to stay indoors when the weather is nice but by staying home you are protecting loved ones and keyworkers who are risking their lives to save others. Please do not make unnecessary journeys until the restrictions have been lifted and stay home unless there is a reasonable excuse to leave.  If we all work together we can save lives by protecting the vulnerable people living in our area and the NHS. Thank you to everyone who has abided by the rules so far and have a safe weekend.”

Public rights of way remain open for local use as permitted by law, but social distancing measures should always be maintained, such as keeping at least 2 metres apart and only going outside with members of your own household.

For the latest Government guidance on access to open spaces please go to


Media contact

Charlie Fox, Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority
01439 772700

The North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952 it became Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres), the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 8 million visitors a year.

The National Park has two visitor centres, The Moors National Park Centre, Danby and Sutton Bank National Park Centre, providing opportunities for cycling, walking, eating, picnicking, shopping, crafts and wildlife-watching. The centre in Danby also houses the Inspired by… gallery, which features regularly changing exhibitions by artists who draw their inspiration from the North York Moors.

The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families.

Further information about the North York Moors National Park and other press releases are available here:

Yorkshire Dales National Park

The latest COVID-19 guidance for people living and working in the National Park is updated regularly here:

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of 15 National Parks in the UK. It is administered by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, which has two main purposes: "to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage" and “to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park". In carrying out these purposes, the Authority has a duty "to seek to foster the economic and social well being of local communities". The National Park Authority comprises 25 members, made up of county and district councillors and members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment to represent parishes or in recognition of their specialist skills or knowledge.

All of our work is guided by the vision for the future of the National Park set out in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan: “Through their passion for this special place, local people and businesses will keep the Yorkshire Dales National Park a thriving area. Its unique cultural landscape will be treasured for its stunning scenery, exceptional heritage and wonderful wildlife, and every year millions of people will be inspired to be a part of it.”