We love welcoming everyone into the National Park, it’s a very special place and perfect for getting closer to nature.
It’s a working landscape and a home for folks and rare wildlife too.
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
Dress the part
Weather conditions can change quickly here in the uplands. Be prepared. Make sure you have the correct clothing and equipment for the weather.
Keep distance from seals
Disturbance can distress and harm the seals on our coastline and endanger yourself. Please:
- Keep at least 10 metres distance - use camera / binoculars instead (no drones and no seal selfies)
- Keep dogs on a short lead
- Keep noise to a minimum
Conditions can change quickly so it's best to plan ahead before travelling. Have a read of our advice on staying safe.
It’s also worth checking for road closures, particularly during severe weather, as well as any planned roadworks.
Please do not feed gulls
These often misunderstood creatures have become accustomed to being fed by humans and many of the issues that arise from their behaviour, such as food being stolen, is as a result of this.
To prevent this, please do not feed them and put all litter in the bin.
Avoid parking on grass verges
This restricts access for local residents, farm vehicles and emergency services plus these grassy areas - even in car parks - are home to lots of different plants and animals.
Avoid blocking gates
This restricts access for local residents, farm vehicles and emergency services. We’ve created a list of car parks within the National Park to help. Or check out local bus and train services and save the hassle of finding a parking space.
If you’re in a vehicle, please slow down and drive with care on moorland roads as there could be a sheep or bird wandering around the next bend. Be especially careful when driving at night.
Paths, grass verges, even car parks, might harbour baby mammals and birds that nest on the ground - please tread carefully.
The National Park is a beautiful destination for many visitors, but it is also a working landscape. Please be mindful of livestock, particularly along Rights of Way by keeping your distance and creating minimal disturbance. Also, always keep dogs on lead around livestock, but if you feel threatened let the dog go and retreat.
Report wildlife crime
North Yorkshire has the greatest number of confirmed incidents of raptor persecution. Find out how you can help and report any sightings of dead or injured birds or poisoned bait sites as part of Operation Owl.
Please note 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 signs of illegal activity. Call 101 to report suspicious incidents and ask that details are passed on to a Wildlife Crime Officer.
The North York Moors is a great place to take your dog for a walk. We’ve plenty of suggestions for dogs (and their owners!) plus advice on keeping your dog safe and happy, including when to have your pooch on a lead. Stick to defined routes and keep your dogs on a lead or under close control to protect wildlife and grazing sheep.
Keep it clean, stop the spread
Your clothes and equipment can carry pests and diseases in and out of the National Park. Stop the spread by cleaning, washing and drying your footwear, clothing, bikes and equipment. This is particularly important if you're planning to do water-based activities too.
Take litter home
Unlike towns and cities, you won’t find many bins out in the open countryside. As well as the difficulties of emptying them in hard to reach places, they also detract from the National Park's natural beauty.
If you drop your rubbish, it's likely that a bird or animal will pick it up, eat it or get caught in it. Give nature a chance and take your rubbish (including apple cores and banana skins) home.
Take dog poo home
There aren't many bins in the open countryside so please take dog poo home. Carry out what you carry in.
There are some great dog poo carriers available to buy that last for years so you can safely carry it without the smell spoiling your walk.
Be fire aware
Moorland and forest fires destroy everything in their path – devastating for wildlife and the environment. Do not light fires, or discard matches, cigarettes or glass in the open countryside.
Leave the BBQ at home and have a picnic instead.
Look after the trails
If you're exploring on two wheels make sure you stay on track and keep singletrack single. You must ask permission from the landowner if you intend to alter or build trails.
Always use registered campsites
Almost all land in the National Park is privately owned. It might be tempting, but wild camping is unlawful without permission from the landowner. Please don't just pitch a tent anywhere - you might not see the damage it causes but those who look after the land have to deal with the consequences.
Some farmers and landowners may allow camping if you ask them, but if in any doubt find an official campsite; there are plenty to choose from.
Stone-stacking is not cool
There are over 700 Scheduled Monuments in the North York Moors. Those lumps and bumps, and piles of loose stones you’ll come across all have a story to tell and could be a Bronze Age barrow. They’re also protected sites of national importance and damaging them in any way is an offence. Moving a few stones to create a stack or cairn may seem harmless, but it disturbs these archaeological features and destroy clues from our past.
Moving stones in water can also be damaging to the natural environment and causes erosion.
Stay on the right track
All paths are the same, right? Nope! There are four types of rights of way (public paths), check out the differences so you know you’re on the right track if you’re walking, biking or horse riding. Share bridleways considerately.
Follow The Countryside Code
Check out The Countryside Code before any visit to the countryside.
The Countryside Code has also been translated into various languages, which can be downloaded on the National Trails website.