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Footpath in the Dales Credit: Andy Kay

COVID 19 – Monday update

Monday 23 March, 2020, by Mark Sadler

Following unprecedented numbers of people travelling to Countryside, David Butterworth, the Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority said: 

“Last weekend proved extremely difficult. There were many parts of the National Park where the Government’s medical advice regarding social isolation was blatantly ignored, and this seemed to be a pattern of behaviour replicated in many areas of the Country.

“We fully recognise the importance of the outdoors with regard to the nation’s health and well-being, but at this stage of the pandemic, our advice is that people should stay home, within their own communities, and not to make unnecessary journeys to the National Park. This will help protect the NHS and ultimately save lives”.

We continue to review the situation daily and we would advise people to keep up to date with the latest information at

Picture of Mark Sadler

Mark Sadler

Mark is the Communications Manager with the YDNPA.


10 Replies to “COVID 19 – Monday update”

  1. Janet Blackburn says:

    How about closing the car parks & toilets…..this weekend was horrendous for the people of Settle,Horton & Stainforth. You have the power to do this…..

  2. Sue Ryall says:

    Thank you so much for this..its getting really scary and I’m very grateful! I’ve just been for a walk on the Pennine Bridleway near my home in Garsdale and I thought to myself ‘these gate pulls, metal gates, latches etc could carry the virus….petrol station pumps etc etc even my post bin which is a dustbin is a conduit for this virus as ours and 6 other residents post is contained in there….I believe the virus lives on hard surfaces for 3 days and fabric for 2 days. I now wash my hands every time I get in after taking my dog for a walk….I feel like I’m going bananas but it is that serious…at least I’m not worried about picking up bugs from my young dog. He’s a joy and a very welcome distraction at this truly horrible time.

  3. Heather says:

    This message should have gone out last week, then you were telling people that the park was open to come here to walk. We have never had so many people in our area. I agree you should close car parks etc. to protect the people and the place.

  4. Michael Naylor says:

    Could you tell us please what actions the YDNPA is taking – e.g closing car parks and popular footpaths?

  5. Owen Daniels says:

    Last week you said the park was still open for people to come for a walk, and now you criticise people afterwards for taking you up on it, it’s a complete disgrace to blame people for going for a walk over the weekend as if you’d always told them not to come. Being shouted at by a local for walking alone in Malham yesterday and not going near anybody else in line with the government guideline (before last night) was not appreciated and people will remember this inhospitality when this is over and not come back!

    • Mark Sadler says:

      Hi Owen,

      Last week we advocated people take active outdoor recreation alone or in small family groups, respecting social distancing with others and sticking to low risk, familiar activities and areas. What happened over the weekend in parks, coastal resorts and rural locations across the UK (including in the Yorkshire Dales) was not social distancing or families sticking to low-risk activities and areas, and we said so. The Government advice is clear, stay at home, unless it’s for one of the four reasons specified, which does include one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household. We agree that being shouted at for walking outside – whilst closely adhering to Government advice – is not on.

  6. Ellen Barker says:

    We were verbally abused when walking (2 members same family) on a quiet lane at the 9back of ingleton. When driving through ingleton village I noticed a chalk board sign outside the newsagents stating ‘locals only’. All of this will be remembered for a long time.

  7. Iain Connell says:

    I learnt today that car parks in the National Park are being or are to be closed, but didn’t hear or see it in local news, and nothing in the Yorkshire Post. True ?

    • Mark Sadler says:

      Hi Iain, our National Park Offices, National Park Centres, Car Parks and Toilets are closed until further notice. You can keep up to date with all the latest information and guidance from the National Park on the front page of the website.

  8. Iain Connell says:

    Do you mean barriers over car park entrances ? Are you going to advertise this at National Park road boundaries ?

    The danger is that people may try to park elsewhere (on e.g. approach roads to Malham) and cause more problems than if they were parked safely (if illegally). If the car parks are still physically accessible, they will just park for free unless the closures are policed.

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