PEOPLE are being urged to act responsibly this bank holiday weekend over fears of a "surge" in visitors to beauty spots. 

West Yorkshire Prepared, the region's Local Resilience Forum (LRF), is encouraging people to continue to follow social distancing rules to keep themselves and others safe.

Although the official Government guidelines advise people to stay at home as much as possible, LRF partners are expecting to see a surge in visitor numbers to beauty spots throughout West Yorkshire this weekend due to the summery weather.

Dave Walton, co-chair of West Yorkshire Prepared, said: “In recent weeks, more people have been out and about visiting popular beauty spots, but everyone needs to continue to be mindful of their actions and follow social distancing rules, to keep individuals and communities safe and help to reduce the spread of the virus.

“In line with Government guidelines, we would urge everyone to continue to stay at home as much as possible and enjoy the sunshine in your garden or local parks.

"However, if you do head out, we would ask that you try to stay local and observe social distancing rules. It’s also worth remembering that in many places, facilities such as toilets, cafes and carparks remain closed so you should check before you travel.”

  • West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has seen an increase in fire incidents recently and has already dealt with several moorland fires this year. They are encouraging people to familiarise themselves with their Be Moor Aware campaign which hifghlights steps people can take to look after the moors and keep people and wildlife safe
  • WYFRS is also asking people to think about where they park, following several occasions last weekend where fire engines were unable to pass due to people parking inconsiderately on narrow country lanes near to moorland.
  • Local Authorities are asking Muslim individuals and communities in West Yorkshire to celebrate Eid at home. Although traditionally the festival would see communal prayers and visits to friends and family, the Muslim Council of Britain has advised people to celebrate virtually due to social-distancing measures.
  • Partners are also advising people to be water aware and do all they can to stay safe when near water. According to the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) drowning is amongst the leading causes of accidental death in the UK and around 50 per cent of these incidents happened to people who were near water but had no intention of actually entering the water.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “Since the government guidelines have changed, we’ve been working hard to devise a plan to keep everyone safe while enjoying our beautiful reservoirs. Our key workers visit our reservoirs regularly to do vital engineering checks so we’re putting plans in place to help protect them. 

"While we do this, we want to remind everyone to not visit our reservoirs this bank holiday weekend unless you live within walking distance.

"Unfortunately, lots of people are still visiting our reservoirs despite car parks being closed and we’ve had several incidences of people parking inappropriately on roads nearby causing traffic issues. This has caused issues for emergency services, so please don’t visit this weekend and hopefully we’ll be back open soon.

"We have also received several reports of people swimming in our reservoirs this week. Whilst it might be tempting when the weather is hot, please remember that it is not safe to do so. Reservoir temperatures rarely go above 12 degrees and there is no lifeguard around in case something goes wrong.”