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‘Stay apart. Act responsibly. Save lives.’ - key message from National Park

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

12 May 2020

The North York Moors National Park Authority is urging everyone to maintain social distancing if you are heading into the North York Moors after recent changes in Government guidance.

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. 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.

The Authority will be carrying out a phased reopening of some of its car parks and public toilets in line with Government guidance. This will include the reopening of car parks at Newton under Roseberry, Sutton Bank and Saltergate from Wednesday 13 May. The toilets at Sutton Bank will also be reopening shortly. These measures will remain under constant review.

The Authority recognises the importance of allowing those who have struggled to access open spaces since the lockdown to have this opportunity, however public health and safety is its top priority and so is urging everyone to act responsibly.

Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the Authority said: “Unfortunately we cannot yet give you the welcome we would want. We must all act with caution and consider the potential impacts of not social distancing on local communities as well as other visitors. If you cannot keep two metres apart from those not in your own household, you are potentially spreading the virus and putting your own and others’ lives at risk.

“We must also consider that large gatherings at beauty spots will only make social distancing incredibly difficult and so please still consider using open spaces close to your own homes. Lastly, we must remember that our battle with COVID-19 is far from won and so for now: Stay apart. Act responsibly. Save lives.”

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

If you would like to learn more about what you can and can’t do as part of the new 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: