VISITORS to the Yorkshire Dales National Park are being asked to take a fresh look at the guidelines surrounding social distancing, littering and disposable barbecues.

Carl Lis, chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said the Authority was putting out the latest message in view of recent reports and footage of overcrowding in public places.

The scenes have sparked concern that such crowded places could cause coronavirus to spread which, if not contained quickly, could lead to localised lockdowns.

Cllr Lis said as the country enjoyed scorching weather last week: “We’ve seen some extraordinary images of packed beaches and beauty spots across the country, and some shocking examples of littering and dangerously-abandoned barbecues..

“It’s also sad to hear reports from our own teams here in the national park that some are choosing to ignore the social distancing rule, are not taking litter home, and are continuing to bring barbecues into a tinder-dry countryside.

“Of course we want people to enjoy the national park, to use it as a safe place to relax, exercise and re-charge the batteries - it’s important for our mental and physical health.

“But that has to be balanced with a basic respect for the land, for the community, and for each other.

“For anyone considering coming to the countryside to soak up the sunshine by a riverside or waterfall, please:

“Respect the land - No more rubbish excuses, take all your litter home and don’t bring BBQs of any description into the National Park

“Respect the community - Many in the local community are amongst some of the most vulnerable groups of people. Please keep a safe distance from homes, schools, and farms.

“Respect each other – Follow the social distancing guidelines. Be kind and respect one another, whether visitor or local.”

To help people plan their visit and view the latest guidance, the following resources are available on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s website.

They are:

The Countryside Code.

First time visitor information.

Weekend car park status updates.

No littering, No BBQs infographics.

Social distancing and National Park rules infographics.

Short walks from National Park car parks.

60 additional short walk ideas across the national park.

There are also printed maps, alongside safety information, available in key locations across the national park.