North York Moors

North York Moors logo
Browse section

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

We are urging everyone to maintain social distancing if you are heading into the North York Moors following changes in Government guidance. Please remember 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.

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. So we cannot yet give you the welcome we would want, but we have begun a phased reopening of some of our car parks and toilets in line with Government guidance (more details below).

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 must proceed with caution and act responsibly to protect local communities and visitors. Please help do your bit and thank you for social distancing.

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

Our latest statements

National Park Authority services during COVID-19 restrictions

Whilst the National Park Authority has closed some facilities such as National Park Centres, it is able to operate the majority of its administrative functions remotely, including Planning, with most of our staff now working from home.

You can still reach us by email in the usual way on This is being monitored from home by our Reception staff during normal office hours. Messages are being passed to colleagues. If you leave a message on our answer machine, these are being picked up on Tuesdays and Thursday each week. This means that response times may be slightly longer than usual. The National Park HQ at The Old Vicarage in Helmsley is currently closed to the public, and all meetings will be taking place via video/teleconference.

National Park facilities

Our National Park Centres at Sutton Bank and Danby, Inspired by… gallery, most car parks and public toilets are currently closed. All events, guided walks and other activities that were planned to take place until 31 July have been cancelled/postponed.

In line with Government guidance, we are carrying out a phased reopening of some of our car parks and public toilets. The following car parks are now open:

  • Newton under Roseberry
  • Saltergate
  • Sutton Bank

The toilets at Sutton Bank are now open but at a reduced capacity and on reduced hours (10am-3pm); you may also find them closed for additional cleaning during the day, please be patient.

Please note due to staff shortages, the toilets will be shut on Monday 25 May.

Park Life Café will be opening a limited takeaway service at Sutton Bank at weekends from 23 May. Please follow their one-way system, and stick to social distancing rules and any procedures they have in place to keep everyone safe.

Please also note that construction is underway on a new cycle trail, cyclocross track and pump track near to Sutton Bank National Park Centre. As a result some trails will be temporarily closed to enable this work to be undertaken safely. Please follow all site instructions displayed.

The independently operated Sutton Bank Bikes shop is currently closed at Sutton Bank as is Park Life Café at The Moors National Park Centre. 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.

Public Rights of Way and guidelines for accessing the National Park safely

Government guidance states that you should stay at home as much as possible but you are now able to exercise and spend time outdoors. If you’re thinking of visiting the North York Moors, please do follow our guidelines:

  • Plan ahead: Before travelling to any open spaces, please check online to see if facilities are open first. It’s also worth checking North Yorkshire County Council’s interactive roadworks map as they are undertaking surface dressing on a number of roads this month with local diversions in place.
  • Stay safe: Public Rights of Way everywhere remain open as permitted by law, but we ask you to follow Government advice to observe social distancing guidelines, which includes staying two metres apart from anyone not in your own household. Clean your hands regularly. Bring hand sanitiser for use after touching shared surfaces (gates, stiles etc) (remember few public toilets are currently open).
  • Avoid popular spots: Large gatherings at beauty spots will only make social distancing incredibly difficult and so please consider using open spaces close to your own homes. If you arrive at a site that is already busy, please 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 which are currently open and which are closed to help when planning your day, and give you the opportunity to explore somewhere new.
  • Follow The Countryside Code: If you do choose to head out into the North York Moors, please make sure that you are following The Countryside Code. The National Park 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.
  • Respect wildlife and livestock: It’s ground-nesting bird season so it's very important to keep your dog on a short lead (less than 2 metres) on moorland until 31 July. Wildlife may have moved into the spaces we have left behind so stick to defined routes and keep dogs under close control wherever you are. If you are driving, please slow down and drive with care on moorland roads as there is very likely to be a sheep wandering around the next bend.
  • Follow the latest Government advice closely: This advises staying at home as much as possible. Its FAQ includes details on what you can and can’t do as part of the new changes. Government also regularly updates its guidance on using green spaces while protecting yourself and others. Please remember that 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, mobile homes, camping and motorhomes.

While we cannot yet give you the welcome we would want, our social media channels and website include our latest #DreamNowVisitLater inspiration, including Nature for all, a roundup of all the best ways to appreciate what’s around us and reconnect with nature safely from home.

Planning service

We are implementing a number of measures to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus which will inevitably mean a reduced and less accessible planning service so we ask applicants and the public to bear with us. Full details of the changes to our services that will apply until further notice are available in the Planning service coronvirus webpage. All face-to-face meetings have been postponed.

Government has introduced legislation to allow public meetings to be held remotely using video or telephone conferencing technology and our Planning Committee on 21 May was held virtually where planning applications requiring Member determination were decided. Further details of this are available on the Planning service coronvirus webpage. We have produced a Virtual Public Meeting Protocol, which sets out how these meetings operate.


Our volunteering service has suspended all activities until further notice. We would like to thank all of our volunteers for your continued dedication and contribution to the North York Moors National Park, and look forward to welcoming you back when it is safe to do so.

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 Prince's Countryside Fund has a Rural Response Emergency Grants Programme for farming and rural community support groups.

Business support