North York Moors

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Share with Care

Couple walking in heather by Ceri OakesCouple walking in heather by Ceri Oakes

We love welcoming everyone into the National Park, it’s a very special place and perfect for getting closer to nature.

It’s a working landscape and a home for folks and rare wildlife too.

We’ve pulled together some useful info on how you can keep it special, share the North York Moors with everyone and everything, and have a great time whether you’re on foot, bike or horse or just hanging around with friends and family. #ShareWithCare

Plan ahead and dress the part

Weather conditions can change quickly here in the uplands. Be prepared. Make sure you have the correct clothing and equipment for both the weather and finding your way - and read our advice on staying safe.

It’s worth checking for road closures, particularly during severe weather, as well as any planned roadworks, as there may be lengthy diversions in place.

Busy, busy, busy

If you arrive at a site that is already busy, go elsewhere or come another time.

If car parks are full, avoid parking on verges or blocking gates. This restricts access for local residents, farm vehicles and emergency services plus these grassy areas - even in car parks - are home to lots of different plants and animals.

Please find an alternative. We’ve created a list of car parks within the National Park to help. Or check out local bus and train services and save the hassle of finding a parking space.

All paths are the same, right?

Nope! Footpaths are for feet only.

There are four types of rights of way (public paths), check out the differences so you know you’re on the right track if you’re walking, biking or horse riding. Share bridleways considerately.

Respect wildlife and livestock

If you’re in a vehicle, please slow down and drive with care on moorland roads as there could be a sheep or bird wandering around the next bend. Be especially careful when driving at night.

Tread carefully… paths, grass verges, even car parks, might harbour baby mammals and birds that nest on the ground.

Our coastline is home to seals too, a fantastic wildlife experience! Disturbance can distress and harm them and endanger yourself, we recommend:

  • Keeping your distance (at least 10 metres) - use your camera or binoculars instead (don't use a drone though and no seal selfies)
  • Keeping dogs on a short lead
  • Keeping noise to a minimum
Be our 'eyes and ears'

North Yorkshire has the greatest number of confirmed incidents of raptor persecution. Find out how you can help by being our 'eyes and ears' and report any sightings of dead or injured birds or poisoned bait sites as part of Operation Owl.

Please be aware that not all trapping methods are illegal, and that many responsible land managers will use legal methods to control certain species of birds and mammals. North Yorkshire Police has further information to help you recognise the signs of illegal activity, including pole traps. Please report suspicious incidents by calling 101 and ask that details are passed on to a Wildlife Crime Officer.

Pooch perfect

The North York Moors is a great place to take your dog for a walk. We’ve plenty of suggestions for dogs (and their owners!) plus advice on keeping your dog safe and happy, including when to have your pooch on a lead. Stick to defined routes and keep your dogs on a lead or under close control to protect wildlife and grazing sheep.

Keep Britain Tidy - Someone else will pick it up

Why can’t I find a litter or dog poo bin?

Dead frog in bottle found when litter picking Credit Jonathan GreenUnlike towns and cities, you won’t find many bins out in the open countryside. As well as the difficulties of emptying them in hard to reach places, they also detract from the National Park's natural beauty.

If you drop your rubbish, it's likely that a bird or animal will pick it up, eat it or get caught in it…

Give nature a chance and take your rubbish (including apple cores and banana skins) and dog poo home. Carry out what you carry in.

There are some great dog poo carriers available to buy that last for years so you can safely carry it without the smell spoiling your walk.

Check out Young Ranger Livia's thoughts on litter too:

Keep it clean

Your clothes and equipment can carry pests and diseases in and out of the National Park. Stop the spread by cleaning, washing and drying your footwear, clothing, bikes and equipment. This is particularly important if you're planning to do water-based activities too.

Be fire aware

Moorland and forest fires destroy everything in their path – devastating for wildlife and the environment.

Do not light fires, or discard matches, cigarettes or glass in the open countryside.

Leave the BBQ at home and have a picnic instead. And if you're after a brew, bring a flask or check out one of our fab cafés, we are the Capital of Cake after all!

Look after the trails

If you're exploring on two wheels make sure you stay on track and keep singletrack single. You must ask permission from the landowner if you intend to alter or build trails.

Camping is for campsites

Almost all land in the National Park is privately owned. It might be tempting, but wild camping is unlawful without permission from the landowner. Please don't just pitch a tent anywhere - you might not see the damage it causes but those who look after the land have to deal with the consequences.

Some farmers and landowners may allow camping if you ask them, but if in any doubt find an official campsite; there are plenty to choose from. And if a tent isn't tempting, then give glamping a go! Take your pick from yurts, tipis, cabins, lodges, railway carriages, gypsy caravans and treehouses!

Stone-stacking is not cool

Did you know there are over 700 Scheduled Monuments within the North York Moors? Those lumps and bumps, and piles of loose stones you’ll come across all have a story to tell and could be a Bronze Age barrow. They’re also protected sites of national importance and damaging them in any way is an offence.

Moving a few stones to create a stack or cairn may seem harmless but it disturbs these archaeological features and destroy clues from our past, and exposes the soil, leading to erosion and could even destroy the homes of spiders and insects.

Moving stones in water can also be damaging to the natural environment and causes erosion.

Leave no trace of your visit.

The Countryside Code poster
Follow The Countryside Code #RespectProtectEnjoy

Check out The Countryside Code before any visit to the countryside:

➜ Respect everyone: be considerate to those living in, working in and enjoying the countryside; leave gates and property as you find them; do not block access to gateways or driveways when parking; be nice, say hello, share the space; follow local signs and keep to marked paths
➜ Protect the environment: take your litter and dog poo home – leave no trace of your visit; do not light fires and only have BBQs where signs say you can; always keep dogs under control, preferably on a lead; care for nature – do not cause damage or disturbance
➜ Enjoy the outdoors: check your route and local conditions; plan your adventure – know what to expect and what you can do; enjoy your visit, have fun, make a memory

The Countryside Code has also been translated into various languages:

Thank you and enjoy your visit.