UK's National Parks swamped despite pleas to stay home
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UK’s National Parks swamped despite pleas to stay home

The first weekend of a lighter lockdown has meant thousands of people have flocked to National Parks and beaches amongst the warm weather.

People of the UK were asked to stay away from natural places of beauty such as parks and beaches however thousands ignored the advice to swarm there.

The Peak District National Park, one of the largest parks in the UK, urged the public not to visit on Saturday because overcrowding was making social distancing harder.

However, officials said the Langsett area at the north-eastern edge of the park was “extremely busy” on Saturday morning.

National park bosses went to Twitter to say: “This area is reported to be extremely busy with car parks currently full and social distancing difficult.

“Please don’t travel to the area or park outside of designated bays.”

Similarly to multi-storey car parks, lights were introduced to the Yorkshire Dales car parks to suggest how busy they were.

By late morning today most lights were red indicating full, reports state.

Since Wednesday, people have no longer been limited to one opportunity to exercise outdoors each day and the government took the flattening and reduction of Covid cases to give people more freedoms.

This meant they could drive to beaches and national parks in England, alone or with members of the same household, and can meet up with one other person from a different household, as long as it is in a park or outdoor space with all parties adhering to social distancing of 2 metres apart.

However, thousands of people were accused of ignoring pleas to use their common sense as beauty spots and national parks saw visitor numbers soar ‘dramatically’.

Bosses of councils and national parks urged people to stay away rather than risk angering villagers who remained concerned that city dwellers pose a serious health risk because they could be carrying coronavirus.

A series of tweets urged visitors to “give the Peak District crucial breathing space to recover by staying local”.

Another online message simply stated: “Please don’t travel to the area or park outside designated bays.”

Cumbria Police also broke up a “super car meeting” in which young people driving high performance sports cars were intercepted by officers near the M6. “Approximately 10 super cars [have been] escorted back to the motorway and sent to their respective counties,” Cumbrian Police said via Twitter.

On Friday night, a group of eight people were handed COVID-19 fixed penalty notices in the Yorkshire Dales after police found them camping by a fire near Swaledale.

North Yorkshire Police said the group had travelled from West Yorkshire and were from SIX DIFFERENT households.

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