North York Moors

North York Moors logo
Browse section

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

With new national restrictions in place for England from 5 November to 2 December 2020, Government is encouraging everyone to stay at home as much as possible. However you can exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person, plus any children under five.

We know how important accessing the National Park is to your health and wellbeing, and therefore all our car parks and toilets will remain open. Forestry England operated Dalby Forest will also will remain open. Remember most other visitor facilities in the North York Moors will be closed with only a few exceptions, such as public gardens. Before you leave home, you must check online to see if the outdoor space you're planning to visit is open.

We are urging everyone to maintain social distancing if you are heading into the North York Moors, which includes staying two metres apart from anyone not in your own household or part of your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay one metre apart and take extra steps to stay safe such as wearing a face covering. You must stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.

The National Park will be here waiting for you to enjoy fully when it is safe to do so and we look forward to welcoming you back then. For now we all need to do our bit to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives by staying at home, and acting responsibly to protect local communities and other visitors. Thank you for social distancing.

We will be constantly reviewing all government advice and will provide updates here accordingly.

Guidelines for accessing the National Park responsibly #RespectProtectEnjoy

If you are heading out for exercise, remember Government guidance advises this is done locally and in open spaces close to your own home, and to walk or cycle to them wherever possible. You should minimise the distance you travel and avoid leaving your local area. As not everyone has easy access to green space, you are allowed to travel a short distance to exercise if necessary. If you are only a short journey away and thinking of visiting the North York Moors, please follow our guidelines:

  • Stay safe: Public Rights of Way everywhere remain open as permitted by law but we ask you to observe social distancing guidelines. Clean your hands regularly. Bring hand sanitiser for use after touching shared surfaces (gates, stiles etc) and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.
  • Avoid popular spots: Large gatherings at beauty spots will only make social distancing incredibly difficult. If you arrive at a site that is already busy, go elsewhere or come another time. If car parks are full, remember do not block access for local residents, farm vehicles or emergency services, find an alternative. We have created a list of car parks within the National Park to help when planning your day, and some guidance on finding quieter spots to give you the opportunity to explore somewhere new.
  • Countryside CodeFollow The Countryside Code #RespectProtectEnjoy
    If you do choose to head out into the North York Moors, please make sure that you are following The Countryside Code:
    ➜ Respect other people: consider the local community and other people; park carefully so access to gateways is clear, leave gates and property as you find them; and follow paths
    ➜ Protect the natural environment: leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home; do not have BBQs or fires; keep dogs under control; dog poo - bag it and bin it
    ➜ Enjoy the outdoors: plan ahead and be prepared; follow advice and local signs and stick with social distancing
  • Respect wildlife and livestock: Always keep your dog on a short lead near farm animals, but if cattle act aggressively it is safer if you let it off the lead. Stick to defined routes and keep dogs under close control wherever you are to protect wildlife. If you are driving, please slow down and drive with care on moorland roads as there is very likely to be a sheep or bird wandering around the next bend.
  • Follow the latest Government advice closely: Government information on the new national restrictions includes details on what you can and can’t do. This advises staying at home as much as possible. Government also regularly updates its guidance on using green spaces safely while protecting yourself and others. Please remember leaving your home to stay at another home for a holiday is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes, mobile homes, camping and motorhomes.

If you’re unable to venture out to the North York Moors, check out our website for inspiration, including Nature for all, a roundup of all the best ways to appreciate what’s around us and reconnect with nature from the comfort of your home.

National Park Authority services during national restrictions from 5 November

Our reception staff are available to answer telephone queries during office hours (9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday). However, our offices are closed to the public until 3 December 2020.

We are continuing to follow Government advice and most of our office based staff are working at home, and only coming into the office when they need to for specific purposes. Health and safety precautions have been put in place for staff, including hand sanitisers, screens where required and social distancing of 2m to be observed. You can still reach us by email in the usual way on

Planning service

The restrictions in place from 5 November mean that although we will continue to provide an effective planning service, officers will be unable to meet directly to offer advice, although site visits for applications and enforcement purposes will still be undertaken, with safeguards in place. Further details of the service are available in the Planning service coronavirus webpage.

At the present time, public meetings will still be held remotely using video or telephone conferencing technology. Our Planning Committees are being held virtually where planning applications requiring Member determination are decided.

National Park facilities

In line with Government guidance, all of our car parks and toilets are open. Please check the latest information on our car parks and toilets page.

Both our National Park Centres at Sutton Bank and Danby are closed, including the Inspired by… gallery and will reopen on 3 December (barring any lockdown extension). All exhibitions, events and other activities that were planned to take place during this period have been cancelled/postponed.

Our toilets are open at both Centres but may be at a reduced capacity to assist with social distancing; you may also find them closed for additional cleaning during the day, please be patient.

The independently run Park Life Café is closed at The Moors National Park Centre, but is operating a limited takeaway service at Sutton Bank National Park Centre (open daily 10am-4pm). Please follow their one-way system, and stick to social distancing rules and any procedures they have in place.

As an essential retail service, Sutton Bank Bikes shop will be open Friday - Monday (10am-5pm) throughout November.

Further guidance and frequently asked questions regarding our gallery, events and activities are available on the Sutton Bank National Park Centre page and The Moors National Park Centre page.

These measures will remain under constant review.


Our volunteering service has suspended all activities for now, other than those roles that can be undertaken from home.

Thanks for your continued patience and we look forward to continuing to get back to normal volunteering in the North York Moors in the not too distant future.

Community support

  • Search our interactive map to find out if your local community has a food delivery or collection service.
  • People in North Yorkshire without access to a support network in urgent need of help, or for signposting someone in need, should get in touch with North Yorkshire County Council’s Customer Service Centre by calling 01609 780780 or find out more on the County Council website.
  • North Yorkshire County Council is urgently looking for additional staff to support vital health and social care services. Find out how to apply.
  • Community First Yorkshire is working with partners to co-ordinate community responses, including connecting local people to volunteering opportunities.
  • Redcar & Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency is acting similarly
  • The Farming Help Partnership – Addington Fund, Farming Community Network (FCN), Forage Aid, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and RSABI, supported by The Prince's Countryside Fund - are working together to support the Farming Community.

General business support

Specific support and advice for the tourism sector

  • Get involved in Project Thrive - we're working with North York Moors Tourism Network on how tourism businesses can develop a stronger off-peak season and what we need to do to target additional markets with product development.
  • Follow the Recovery Marketing Programme run by tourism specialist, Susan Briggs. There is no charge for any of this activity. You can also join the very supportive online Tourism Network community.
  • Apply to our Local businesses tourism contribution grant scheme. Projects could include setting up an event, adapting your offer to enable you to join one of our activity friendly schemes or encouraging off-peak visits. Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.
  • VisitEngland Business Advice HubVisitEngland Business Advice Hub Visit England/Visit Britain latest information is specific to the tourism industry. A dedicated page on their Business Advice Hub signposts tourism businesses to the latest Government health advice, how to manage staff, cleaning guidance and financial support.
  • VisitEngland's ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard enables businesses to reassure your customers that you are adhering to Government and public health guidelines and have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment. Complete a self-assessment via the online platform to receive a certification for your business and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark to display on your premises and online.
  • Ryedale District Council has pulled together a comprehensive list of support available to tourism businesses.
  • The Visit York Members and Partners web page provides key updates and useful resources.
  • Welcome to Yorkshire's Business Support pages include updates, toolkits and examples of best practice from across the industry
  • We'd love to know if you're a food business operating special services within your local community. Email to be added to our interactive map.
  • Artisan Whitby have set up a pop-up community initiative to support local artists, artisans and craft producers through creating an online market square. If you make and sell your own produce you can add a listing.

Our latest statements