National Parks UK has a 4-step guide for people thinking of visiting a National Park during COVID-related restrictions.
The advice to the general public about outdoor exercise is different in England, Scotland and Wales.
We strongly advise anyone thinking of travelling to a National Park first to check the latest advice on their website. The situation is fluid and this is updated frequently. You can find links to National Park websites here.
Use the advice and tips they give to keep yourself safe, avoid ‘honeypot’ crowds and be aware in advance of what facilities are available or not. Not all car parks and visitor facilities are managed by National Parks but where possible they will have links to Local Government, charities and other organisations who can help you plan ahead. Access to toilet facilities and water may be significantly reduced as many local businesses are still operating at reduced capacity.
Re-think risks associated with your usual activities. Avoid putting a strain on Emergency services and volunteer rescue services that often rely on Emergency care front line staff.
It can be disappointing to plan a visit and find other people have got there first but don’t push ahead with your plans if it feels unsafe. If car parks are full do not block access for local residents and emergency services. Use the information and guidance on local National Parks websites and social media channels to do the sensible thing and find your own safe space.
We’ve all had it tough and no one can guess the battles that the other person is fighting today. Let’s make a promise to give each other a massive break while we all find our way to safe space.
Please be considerate of the rights of local residents, farmers and National Park employees to feel safe in their homes and places of work. Even if you feel safe, they may not.
And be kind to nature. More people enjoying National Parks can mean less space for nature doing what nature does. Enjoy what you came to see but be sure to leave only footprints and always keep a respectful distance from wildlife.
It’s more important than ever to follow the Countryside Code.