Safety and Considerate Behaviour

Northumberland National Park is asking people planning to come to the countryside this bank holiday weekend to take extra measures to stay safe, to show care and consideration for the Park, local communities and other visitors.

Following the government’s easing of lockdown and the recent hot weather, a large number of visitors have been coming to the countryside and coast, including areas of the National Park. There have been cases of people congregating at some busy sites, causing difficulties with social distancing, including lighting barbecues, littering and camping out overnight.

When activities like this occur, the Park has increased strain on staff, volunteers and emergency services and ahead of the bank holiday weekend, the public is being asked to respect the National Park, exercise with care, and to be considerate, responsible and kind.

To help people stay safe during their visit, the National Park has outlined six key messages for the public to consider before their journey:

  1. Practice social distancing at all times
  2. Brush up on the Countryside Code (which includes guidance on walking on farmland and driving on narrow roads)
  3. Keep dogs on a lead, take all litter home, and stick to footpaths to protect wildlife
  4. Only come for exercise – do not camp or light barbecues or fires
  5. Avoid popular spots, park responsibly, and do not try to park in or near full car parks
  6. Respect local communities and avoid residential areas including farmyards where possible.

Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park Authority says: “We would like to remind everyone that whilst Northumberland National Park is one of Britain’s finest landscapes, home to rare wildlife and special habitat and historic sites, it is also a living working landscape and home to local communities. Members of the public should make every effort to leave the Park in the condition they find it. Unfortunately, we have seen some cases of visitors gathering in groups, leaving litter and having barbecues. This is simply not acceptable at this time.

“We understand the wish to visit the beautiful locations our region has to offer, but please be considerate in your journey and only travel if absolutely necessary. Any instance of inappropriate behavior such as gathering in groups or overnight camping will be reported to the relevant authorities.”

Throughout the weekend, the Park will also be sharing ideas on how people can enjoy the outdoors closer to home as they continue their #OutdoorsIndoors campaign.