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‘If it’s busy move on or stay local’ - weekend message from police and National Park

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

14 May 2020

To help maintain social distancing, the North York Moors National Park Authority, Cleveland Police and North Yorkshire Police are urging everyone to act responsibly this weekend by avoiding large gatherings or by continued use of open spaces near to people’s homes.

At present most facilities in the North York Moors, including toilets, are closed and relaxation of restrictions on the tourism industry are not planned until July at the earliest. 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.

Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority said: “If large numbers of people congregate in the same locations this weekend it will be impossible to maintain social distancing. You will then be putting your own lives and the lives of others at risk. This cannot happen.

“If you see lots of parked cars or people at a particular location, please go elsewhere. Some people have really struggled to access open spaces since the lockdown began so it is vital that they are able to get out for both their physical and mental health, but if you can still use open spaces near to your own homes this would help keep numbers down at popular beauty spots. The North York Moors will still be here when this is all over so for now: Stay apart. Act responsibly. Save lives.”

Both North Yorkshire Police and Cleveland Police have echoed a similar message.

Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, Head of Local Policing at Cleveland Police, said: “We continue to police according to the national guidance and continue to ask our communities to abide by all the Government advice to stay alert, stay at home as much as possible, work from home if you can, limit contact with other people, keep your distance if you go out and wash your hands regularly.

“It’s very important that people listen to the very clear message coming from North York Moors National Park Authority who are urging everyone to maintain social distancing and to consider the impacts of not doing so on local communities and visitors. These messages have a very clear purpose; to help stop the spread of COVID-19, to protect our NHS and to save lives.”

Assistant Chief Constable Mike Walker, added: “As we move into a new phase of eased restrictions and many of us are now able to spend more time outdoors, personal responsibility is now key. Please think carefully about where you are going and how you will be able to keep your distance from others. Please keep in mind the purpose of the regulations and the national effort to protect the NHS and save lives. As we have seen over the past eight weeks, the overwhelming majority of people have followed the guidance and helped to save lives. Please don’t jeopardise the progress and the sacrifices that have been made to get to this stage.”

The National Park Authority is now carrying out a phased reopening of some of its car parks and public toilets in line with Government guidance. This included the reopening of car parks at Newton under Roseberry, Sutton Bank and Saltergate on Wednesday (13 May). The toilets at Sutton Bank will be open from Saturday but at a reduced capacity. Visitors are advised to plan their day accordingly. These measures will remain under constant review.

The Government has also stated that leaving your home to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes, mobile homes, camping and motorhomes.

If you would like to learn more about what you can and can’t do as part of the recent changes in the Government’s guidance please visit the Government’s website here.

The National Park also remains on fire alert and so no one should be lighting fires or BBQs in the open countryside. Such actions would also put unnecessary strain on the emergency services as they combat the coronavirus.

Lastly, if you do choose to head out into the North York Moors, please make sure that you are following The Countryside Code which you can find here.

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: