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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Covid-19 update (12 April 2021)

With Step 2 of the roadmap now in place, we're delighted to give you a warm welcome to the National Park. While you can meet friends and family outdoors, remember many restrictions remain in place. Government guidance advises that you should minimise travel where possible, which means avoiding making unnecessary journeys and combining trips where possible. You can now stay overnight in a campsite, caravan, second home, or other self-contained accommodation but only with members of your household or support bubble..

When outside meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with), this can be in a group of up to six (from any number of households) or in a group of any size from up to two households. We are urging everyone to maintain social distancing from anyone you do not live with or is not part of your support bubble, which means 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.

We know how important accessing the National Park is to your health and wellbeing, and all our car parks and most toilets are open (some are currently closed for refurbishment). Before you head out of the door, make sure you Know Before You Go and plan your trip carefully as many visitor facilities will be closed. We've ideas on where to go to avoid the crowds and the latest information on which outdoor attractions are open in the North York Moors area.

You must stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.

For now we must proceed with caution and act responsibly to protect local communities, our friends and families, 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.


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 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 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 when planning your day, and some guidance on finding quieter spots to give you the opportunity to explore somewhere new..
  • Countryside Code - Respect. Protect. EnjoyFollow The Countryside Code #RespectProtectEnjoy
    If you do are heading out into the North York Moors, please make sure you are following 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; only use BBQs where signs say they are permitted and always put it out; do not light fires; 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: It’s lambing and breeding season for birds that nest on the ground so it's very important to keep your dog under close control, preferably on a short lead (less than 2 metres) when near farm animals, and also on moorland until 31 July. An excitable puppy or dog can cause real stress and harm to pregnant sheep and lambs. If cattle act aggressively, it is safer if you let your dog off the lead. Other wildlife, such as baby deer, may have moved into the spaces we left behind 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 remains 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.

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.

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 from 12 April

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

Although national restrictions are easing, the government is still advising that working from home, if possible, should continue. We will continue to provide an effective planning service, but in the short term at least, officers will still 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 will be subject to future review, 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. Please check the latest information on our car parks and toilets page.

Our gift shops at Sutton Bank and The Moors National Park Centres have reopened. The rest of the Centres' indoor facilities are currently closed. Our outdoor grounds and toilets are open 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.

Sutton Bank Bikes is open daily throughout the Easter school holidays (10am-5pm until 18 April, then open Thursday-Monday 10am-5pm). Bike hire is also available (10am-4.30pm) but please call 01845 597759 to make a booking.

Park Life Café is operating a takeaway service at Sutton Bank from their Grab & Go Express hatch and also at The Moors National Park Centre (both open 10am-5pm daily). Please follow their one-way system, and stick to social distancing rules and any procedures they have in place.

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

We are making a cautious start to getting some volunteers back into their roles, both individual volunteering roles and groups, following the 'rule of 6' (a maximum of six people in the group, including the task leader). This is not a return to normal - we are still a way off that - but it is a beginning. Each line manager will 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 will not be making 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 normal volunteering in the North York Moors.


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. 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 HubVisit 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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