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'Explore quieter spots and avoid local communities' – latest message from National Park

Stay apart. Act responsibly. Save livesStay apart. Act responsibly. Save lives

29 May 2020

The North York Moors National Park Authority is asking people to avoid hotspots and local communities this weekend by exploring quieter locations or by exercising locally.

Since restrictions on travel have been eased, the Authority has been very clear that people should either avoid busy hotspots to maintain social distancing or continue to exercise close to their own homes.

People have been following the Authority’s advice and have been able to explore places they haven’t been before, enjoying the warm weather with their families or on their own in a safe and responsible way. But there have been some who have ignored recent guidance by heading to busy hotspots, not always social distancing and by littering.

The Authority would like to remind everyone that the National Park is a cherished landscape with stunning moorland and ancient woodlands and must be treated with respect. It has also updated its guidance on travelling to encourage people to avoid local communities:

  • Moorland: There’s much open moorland that can be safely explored.  Please be careful when choosing where to visit and park. There are numerous laybys that are able to accommodate a few cars and many of these are at the start of a public right of way so please use, whilst remembering not to block minor moorland roads. Keep dogs on lead at all times as it is ground-nesting bird season. Look out for chicks and birds in distress!
  • Forests: There are plenty of forest trails for walks, strolls and 'forest bathing'. Forestry England car parks are now open including those at Dalby Forest, Clay Bank, Kilburn Woods/The White Horse, Broxa Forest and Silton Forest. Please see Forestry England’s website for more details.
  • We have also created a list of car parks and toilets within the National Park which are open and which are closed to help when planning your day.
  • Ordnance Survey’s Greenspace Map is a great resource and can help you find lovely nature spots and parks local to you.
  • Other ideas: Off-the-beaten-track routes suggested by locals are a great alternative to honeypot sites. Sources of local routes include ViewRanger, a digital guide to the outdoors with downloadable route guides and outdoor maps.
  • Please do not light any fires or barbecues in the open countryside. We have remained on fire alert since 18 April and any wildfires could be potentially devastating for wildlife and the environment, causing serious and lasting harm.

Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority said: “You are welcome if you act responsibly and keep apart. Please avoid villages. We have put together a great list of other places to explore. Also, remember that no matter where you go, if you see it is busy, please go elsewhere. This is so vital in maintaining social distancing. Please act responsibly this weekend and thank you for social distancing.”

The Government has stated that outdoor exercise is only allowed if people are abiding by social distancing rules, which includes staying two metres apart from anyone not in your own household. If you would like to learn more about what you can and can’t do as part of the current guidance, please visit the Government’s website.

To stay updated with the latest actions the Authority has taken in response to the coronavirus please visit:


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: