National Park thanks public after dramatic drop in travel to beauty spots

Stepping stones at HartoftStepping stones at Hartoft
Stepping stones at Hartoft | jpimediaresell
The North York Moors National Park Authority has thanked everyone who is following government advice after seeing a big reduction in people heading out into the National Park last weekend.

Last week the authority issued a clear message to all visitors and National Park residents – to follow government advice by avoiding all nonessential travel including for exercise both within and into the National Park to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

A huge reduction in footfall along public rights of way was found. Villages, towns and popular beauty spots were also much quieter.

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Andy Wilson, chief executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We are truly grateful that most people have followed government advice. This is critical to save lives, reduce pressure on our NHS and ensure the safety of everyone who visits and lives within the North York Moors.

“The National Park is there for everyone, but for now we must all stay at home and only travel if it is really essential, remembering that travelling for exercise is not. We hope that everyone will continue to follow these measures until it is safe to remove them.”

Public rights of way everywhere remain open for local use as permitted by law. This is still dependent on other social distancing measures being followed, such as keeping at least two metres apart and only going outside with members of your own household.