Covid-19 update (29 March 2021)
With the final part of Step 1 of the roadmap now in place, we're delighted to give you a warm welcome to the National Park. While you can now meet friends and family outdoors, remember many restrictions remain in place. Government guidance advises that you should minimise travel where possible and you should avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary to access a green space. Nor should you be staying overnight in a second home or holiday accommodation unless it is necessary to do so.
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 as well as taking extra steps to stay safe.
We know how important accessing the National Park is to your health and wellbeing, and all our car parks and most toilets remain 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..
- Follow 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.
- 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. 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.
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 29 March
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 email@example.com. Our Reception staff are working at home to answer phone calls and emails during normal office hours (9am–5pm Monday to Friday).
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 National Park Centres at Sutton Bank and Danby, including the Inspired by… gallery, are currently closed. Our outdoor grounds and toilets are open at Sutton Bank 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. While the grounds at The Moors National Park Centre are also open, please note that the toilets are currently closed for refurbishment.
As an essential retail service, the independently operated Sutton Bank Bikes is open daily throughout the Easter school holidays (10am-5pm until 11 April). Bike hire is also available (10am-4.30pm) but please call
Park Life Café is operating a limited takeaway service at Sutton Bank from their Grab & Go Express hatch (open 10am-4pm daily). Park Life Café is closed at The Moors National Park Centre and will reopen on Thursday 1 April (daily 10am-4pm) offering a takeaway service. Please follow their one-way system, and stick to social distancing rules and any procedures they have in place.
These measures will remain under constant review.
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.
- 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 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.
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 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, including the second round of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. This offers grants between £50,000 - £2m to support projects focused on nature restoration, nature-based solutions and connecting people with nature and is open for applications until 14 April.
- See Arts Council England for its latest advice, guidance and emergency 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 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.
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