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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Thank you for not travelling to the National ParkThank you for not travelling to the National Park

Covid-19 update - thank you for not travelling (5 January 2021)

With a National lockdown now in place, we are urging everyone to stay home and not to travel into the North York Moors National Park unless this is absolutely essential.

Government has stated that you must stay at home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ which includes exercising (once a day), but not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). Nor should you be travelling to second homes and holiday accommodation.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble) or, when on your own, with one person from another household. In all cases, you should social distance from anyone you do not live with or is not part of your support bubble, which includes staying two metres apart. 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.

If you are heading out for your daily exercise, remember this should be done locally and in open spaces close to your own home, and you should walk or cycle to them wherever possible. As not everyone has easy access to green space, you are allowed to travel a short distance within your area to do so.

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 for local use. Remember most other visitor facilities in the North York Moors will be closed with only a few exceptions, such as public forests. Before you leave home, you must check online to see if the outdoor space you're planning to visit is open.

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 not travelling.

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


Guidelines for accessing the National Park responsibly #RespectProtectEnjoy

We ask you to follow Government’s rules on exercising and meeting other people when visiting. If you are only a short distance away, please follow our guidelines:

  • Know Before You Go and plan ahead: Before travelling here for your outdoor exercise, please check online to see if the outdoor public space is open first. It’s also worth checking for road closures during severe weather as well as any planned roadworks, as there may be lengthy diversions in place.
  • Stay safe: Public Rights of Way everywhere remain open for local use 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. Remember weather conditions can change quickly. Are you fully equipped? Plan ahead and be prepared – and read our advice on staying safe.
  • 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 park on verges or block gates, which restricts 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.
  • Countryside CodeFollow The Countryside Code #RespectProtectEnjoy
    If you do choose to exercise in 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 (or take it home)
    ➜ 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 National lockdown includes details on what you can and can’t do. 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.

While we cannot currently give you the welcome we would want, 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 from 5 January

Whilst the National Park Authority has closed some functions, 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.

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.

You can still reach us by telephone (01439 772700) and email in the usual way on general@northyorkmoors.org.uk. Our Reception staff are working at home to answer phone calls and emails during normal office hours (9am–5pm Monday to Friday).

Planning service

The new national restrictions 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.

During this period, which is to be reviewed on 15 February, public meetings will still be held remotely using video or telephone conferencing technology. Our Planning Committees will continue to being held virtually where planning applications requiring Member determination are decided.

National Park facilities

All of our car parks and toilets are open for local use. Please check the latest information on our car parks and toilets page.

Our National Park Centres at Sutton Bank and Danby, including the Inspired by… gallery, are currently closed. All events and other activities that were planned to take place have been cancelled/postponed. Our outdoor grounds and toilets remain open at Sutton Bank for local use but toilets may be operating at a reduced capacity to assist with social distancing; you may also find them closed for additional cleaning during the day, please be patient.

As an essential retail service, the independently operated Sutton Bank Bikes is open weekends only for sales, repairs and servicing (10.30am-4.30pm but subject to change). Park Life Café is operating a limited takeaway service at Sutton Bank from their Grab & Go Express hatch (open 10.30am-3pm weekdays and 10.30am-3.30pm at the weekends). Please follow their one-way system, and stick to social distancing rules and any procedures they have in place.

Park Life Café is closed at The Moors National Park Centre. While the grounds are still open for local use, please note that the toilets are currently closed for refurbishment.

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.

Volunteering

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 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 tourism@northyorkmoors.org.uk 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.

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