Covid-19 update (1 October 2021)
With Step 4 of the roadmap in place, we're delighted to give you a warm welcome to the National Park. You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with and there are no limits on the number of people you can meet.
However there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even once you are fully vaccinated, and for now, we must continue to proceed with caution to protect local communities, our friends and families, and other visitors. Please help do your bit. Government are keeping in place a number of key protections and providing cautious guidance. Meeting outdoors is safer but if you’re indoors, let fresh air in.
Government also recommends that people should wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces such as public transport. Government's safer travel guidance outlines the actions we can all take to protect yourself and your loved ones when travelling. It is important to consider that others may wish to take a more cautious approach as we open up. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to reduce close contacts if they wish.
You should stay at home and self-isolate if you have COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, or a positive test result. If you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months, you will not be required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive but you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe.
Before you head out of the door, make sure you Know Before You Go and plan your trip carefully. We've ideas on where to go to avoid the crowds, the latest information on which attractions are open in the North York Moors area, as well as car parks and toilets.
We will be constantly reviewing all Government advice and will provide updates here accordingly.
Guidelines for accessing the National Park responsibly #RespectProtectEnjoy
If you’re visiting the North York Moors, please do follow our guidelines:
- Know Before You Go and plan ahead: Before travelling here, please check online to see if facilities are open first. It’s also worth checking for road closures as well as any planned roadworks, as there may be lengthy diversions in place.
- Stay safe: 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.
- Enjoy our spaces: If you arrive at a site that is busy, why not explore somewhere else and come another time? If car parks are full, remember do not park on verges or block gates, which restricts access for emergency services, local residents or farm vehicles; 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 discover somewhere new..
- Follow The Countryside Code #RespectProtectEnjoy
If you are heading out into the North York Moors, please follow The Countryside Code:
➜ 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
- Respect wildlife and livestock: Always keep your dog or puppy on a short lead near farm animals, but if cattle act aggressively, it is safer if you let your dog off the lead. Other wildlife, such as baby deer, may be hiding close by too so stick to defined routes and tread carefully. 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.
- 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 illegal pole traps. Please report suspicious incidents by calling 101 and ask that details are passed on to a Wildlife Crime Officer.
- Remember wild camping is unlawful: Almost all the land in the National Park is privately owned, and you must get the landowner's permission before camping. Some farmers and landowners may allow camping if you ask them, but if in doubt find an official campsite; there are plenty to choose from.
- Follow the latest Government advice closely: Find out what you can and can not do. Government also regularly updates its guidance on using green spaces safely while protecting yourself and others.
New to the countryside?
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
National Park Authority services
The National Park HQ at The Old Vicarage in Helmsley is now open to the public as normal (9am–5pm Monday to Friday).
You can also reach us by telephone (01439 772700) and email in the usual way on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to provide an effective planning service. Planning Officers are available at the office in Helmsley or to meet on site, subject to adherence to the Authority’s Covid-19 safeguarding protocol and prior notification (in the case of pre-application advice, this will be subject to the normal fees). Further details of the service are available in the Planning service coronavirus webpage.
Planning Committees have returned to pre-covid arrangements and face-to-face meetings open to the public are now taking place. These are being held as normal at the National Park Headquarters, The Old Vicarage, Bondgate, Helmsley unless otherwise stated.
National Park facilities
All car parks and toilets are open. Please check the latest information on our car parks and toilets page.
Our National Park Centres at Sutton Bank and Danby are fully open and we have measures in place to keep everyone safe. You'll find hand sanitisers across both sites and enhanced cleaning remains in place. Our staff are continuing to wear face coverings in busy areas and indoor spaces, and you are very welcome to wear a mask inside the National Park Centre. Remember everyone’s choice is personal – please be kind and respectful.
Park Life Café is open at Sutton Bank and The Moors National Park Centres, offering a full eat in and takeaway service. Both cafés are open 10am-5pm daily. Please follow their one-way system and stick to any other procedures they have in place.
These measures will remain under constant review.
Many volunteers are now back into their roles, both individual volunteering roles and in groups. The way in which we work has changed a lot over the last 12 months and the way in which some volunteering groups are organised will be different. Each line manager will continue to be working at their own pace and inviting their volunteers back as soon as they are able.
There is no pressure for any volunteer to return to their role unless they feel completely comfortable doing so. We do not have any restrictions on volunteering based on age or vulnerability, but we are asking that everyone thinks carefully about their own situation and follow all Government and National Park guidance.
Thank you again for your continued patience and we look forward to continuing to get back to volunteering in the North York Moors.
General business support
- Government COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses and use their business support finder to see what support is available and check which rules have been relaxed to help businesses
- Government’s dedicated Business Support website outlines how to access business support measures
- Information about support available to businesses in North Yorkshire can be found via North Yorkshire County Council. This includes links to the relevant sections on the District and Borough Council websites for accessing business rate relief, business rates holiday and grant funding packages.
- The York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership operates a York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub, offering business advice and support for no charge, including a ‘From Adversity to Recovery’ mentoring programme designed to support SMEs, as well as a comprehensive list of funding and grant support.
- Information for businesses located in Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council can be found on its Business Support Information page.
- Federation of Small Businesses has advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed on reducing the risks from coronavirus.
- The National Lottery Heritage Fund has a number of grants available for projects and organisations.
- See Arts Council England for its latest advice, guidance and funding measures for cultural organisations (both profit and not for profit)
- Ryedale District Council are providing businesses located in the district a free 'Back to Business' pack to help consumer confidence that your business adheres to covid secure guidelines and encourage shop local.
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. 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.
- 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 email@example.com 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.
- 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 780780or 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.
Our latest statements
- North York Moors National Park welcomes responsible visitors – 24 March 2021
- 'Welcome back' - National Park Centres open doors for the first time in over 14 weeks – 3 July 2020
- National Park takes new steps to tackle litter – 12 June 2020
- 'Explore quieter spots and avoid local communities' – latest message from National Park – 29 May 2020
- National Park warns 'fires could devastate wildlife so no BBQs' – 28 May 2020
- National Park issues bank holiday weekend guidance to keep people safe – 22 May 2020
- ‘If it’s busy move on or stay local’ - weekend message from police and National Park – 14 May 2020
- ‘Stay apart. Act responsibly. Save lives.’ - key message from National Park – 12 May 2020
- Clear message from police and National Parks - 'Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.' – 30 April 2020
- National Park issues fire alert and urges caution to support emergency services amid coronavirus – 17 April 2020
- 'Stay home, stay safe this Easter' – appeal from National Park – 09 April 2020
- ‘Keep following Government guidance’ – National Park's response on travel to beauty spots – 03 April 2020
- National Park thanks public after dramatic drop in travel to beauty spots – 31 March 2020
- Do not travel to the North York Moors unless this is really essential – 27 March 2020
- Visitors urged not to visit daffodil hotspot to protect community – 26 March 2020
- COVID-19 – Heather burning in the North York Moors – 26 March 2020
- COVID-19: Latest update from the North York Moors National Park Authority – 23 March 2020
- National Park Authority update – 18 March 2020