The National Park has been here waiting for you and now that restrictions on the tourism industry are relaxing, when you're ready to return, we'll be delighted to give you a warm welcome.
Following changes in Government guidance, you can meet in groups of up to two households (your support bubble counts as one household) in any location (inside or out). When outside, you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households. In all cases, you should social distance from anyone you do not live with or is not part of your support bubble.
The Government recommends that you keep two metres away from people where possible or one metre when you can mitigate the risk by taking other precautions.
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 and we’ve pulled together a map giving you the latest information on which attractions and activity providers are open in the North York Moors area. We've also made life easier and mapped all the businesses who've joined August's Eat Out to Help Out scheme in and around the North York Moors.
For now we must proceed with caution and act responsibly to protect local communities and other 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
- '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
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 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. Clean your hands regularly. Bring hand sanitiser for use after touching shared surfaces (gates, stiles etc).
- 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.
- Follow The Countryside Code #RespectProtectEnjoy
➜ 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 the social distancing
- Respect wildlife and livestock: It’s breeding season for birds that nest on the ground so it's very important to keep your dog on a short lead (less than 2 metres) on moorland until 31 July. Other wildlife, such as baby deer, 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 or bird wandering around the next bend.
- Remember wild camping remains illegal: While staying overnight at another home for a holiday is now allowed, wild camping is illegal. 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 while protecting yourself and others. It has issued a guide on how to stay safe outside your home.
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 COVID-19 restrictions
Whilst the National Park Authority has closed some facilities, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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 open, including the Inspired by… gallery, although there are certain restrictions in place at both Centres. Don't forget, face coverings must be worn in our shops (and throughout the Centres from 8 August). We won’t be able to provide you with a face covering; please bring your own so you don’t miss out. Toilets are open but at a reduced capacity to assist with social distancing; you may also find them closed for additional cleaning during the day, please be patient.
Park Life Café is operating a limited service at Sutton Bank and The Moors National Park Centre. Please follow their one-way system, and stick to social distancing rules and any procedures they have in place. They are also participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme where you can benefit from up to £10 off food and soft drinks on Mondays to Wednesdays throughout August.
The independently operated Sutton Bank Bikes shop has also opened its doors providing cycle hire at Sutton Bank (pre-booking recommended).
Please also note that construction is underway on a new cycle trail, cyclocross track and pump track near to Sutton Bank National Park Centre. All marked cycle trails at Sutton Bank are open but there is a signed diversion in place avoiding Hambleton Plantation, which is closed to enable this work to be undertaken safely. Please follow all site instructions displayed.
Further guidance so you know what to expect before you visit 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.
Our ticketed events and activities that were planned to take place until 30 September have been cancelled/postponed. Our guided walks programme has been cancelled for 2020 and will restart in spring 2021.
Both National Park Centres have family treasure hunts, which change fortnightly, and plenty of fun educational activities for children throughout summer. Drop in any time to find out more and pick up your trail.
These measures will remain under constant review.
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 Committees are being held virtually where planning applications requiring Member determination are 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.
Outdoor volunteering is now back under way in a more limited form than usual. Volunteers are being invited to undertake a small number of specific tasks, which can be done safely. We are not yet ready to welcome back our volunteers working in groups, but we are pleased that we are able to take the first steps back towards our normal volunteering activities.
We will be concentrating on providing the chance for existing volunteers to get back to work first, so we are not looking to take on anybody else for now. Keep an eye on the website though and we’ll let you know when this changes. Thanks for your continued patience and we look forward to getting you back out in the North York Moors in the not too distant future.
- 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
- Government COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and 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 rates support, the Small Business Grant Fund, Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant Schemes and Discretionary Business Grant Scheme.
- The York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership has launched 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. Scarborough Borough Council is currently offering free membership to 300 businesses on a first come, first served basis.
- The National Lottery Heritage Fund £50 million Heritage Emergency Fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus outbreak is open for applications until 31 July.
- See Arts Council England for its latest advice, guidance and emergency funding measures, including a £500m Culture Recovery Fund: Grants Programme. This will provide grants of £50,000 to £3m to cultural organisations (both profit and not for profit), including theatres, music and comedy venues and museums, while Local Authorities, Universities and other Public Sector bodies who run or maintain cultural services can also apply.
- Historic England are providing grants of £10,000 to £1mn and £1-3mn through a £88m Culture Recovery Fund to help heritage organisations or businesses cover operating costs, assess and adapt their business models, and become financially viable. Apply by 17 August.
- Digital Advantage Grants - available for SME businesses based in North Yorkshire to spend on anything connected to digital/online. Delivered by Coventry University Enterprises Ltd. Contact e: email@example.com or T: 02476 236406
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.
- Visit England/Visit Britain latest information and how Government and its agencies are managing it 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.
- Scarborough Borough Council has pulled together a comprehensive list of support available to tourism businesses on its Discover Yorkshire Coast website as has Ryedale District Council.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,