Lakedistrictearlyspring N
Tarn Hows in early March 2020

Travel to open spaces, but not to the mountains

Lesley Williams
By Lesley Williams
4 minute read

The Government has relaxed rules related to travel and unlimited exercise, however there is an important and unified message coming from various authorities in mountain areas. Please DO NOT drive to go walking or other exercise activities in the mountains. You put yourself and others at risk, and all facilities are closed. We know that as a community of outdoor enthusiasts we are all very eager to return to our much loved hills and mountains, but please respect these rural communities, that have more limited facilities, and have suffered hugely already.

Green car park closed
Wasdale Green car park closed

Message from the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association

The leaders of the twelve Lake District Mountain Rescue teams wish to reinforce the message about staying off the high fells, it is not a considerate place to go.

We cannot stress enough the importance of staying off the high fells.

"... we are anticipating real problems for our volunteer teams and our communities. We, like every one of our Cumbrian partners are expecting a surge of visitors to the lakes, many not fell fit and wanting to climb the mountains, or hit those mountain bike trials. Cumbria has one of the highest infection rates in the country and we cannot afford to have our team members infected." read the full message here

Message from the Lake District National Park

Richard Leafe, the Lake District National Park Authority’s Chief Executive said:

“Following the Government’s announcement that people will be able to travel for exercise from Wednesday (13 May), we know that many will be keen to visit the Lake District. This is understandable for the many physical and mental health benefits the National Park provides. However, sadly Cumbria currently has one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK, therefore keeping our staff and local communities safe must remain our priority. For example, our mountain rescue teams are made up of volunteers, many of whom work in the NHS and other frontline professions, so we cannot afford to put unnecessary pressure on them. So for now, we’re asking people not to rush back to the Lake District - help protect our communities, the fells will still be here when this passes." read the full message here

NT Car Park
Facilities at Wasdale Head all closed

Similar messages from Cumbria Tourism, the Peak District and Snowdonia

Cumbria Tourism has issued the following message, also with a plea to keep away. There are no facilities available, and Cumbria currently has the highest rate of infection in the country.

'Reaction to recent Government announcements
We are totally committed to playing our part in protecting local residents and communities, alongside safeguarding the survival and future viability your businesses. So, whilst we have broadly welcomed the roadmap to recovery set out in the Prime Minister’s address last night, we were surprised by announcements regarding the lifting of restrictions around travel for exercise. Today's further clarification suggests that there is no limit on the distance within England people can travel to take their exercise, provided they maintain social distancing guidelines. Given Cumbria’s current Covid-19 incidents, we continue to urge people not to visit the county for leisure for the time being.'

Snowdonia National Park are actively discouraging visitors to the region and mountains – read here

The Peak District National Park Chief Executive has issued the following message:

Whilst we may need our national parks at this time, our relationship with them remains precariously balanced with the current risks to everyone from Covid-19. So as we prepare to welcome you back, let us draw upon that remarkable sense of respect, kindness and humanity we have seen so far in our fight against this disease.

This is why I am personally appealing today to anyone seeking to travel to the Peak District National Park. Before your journey, please carefully consider your own wellbeing and that of the Peak District’s many small communities - and be aware that the vast majority of facilities including hospitality businesses will not be open for a little while yet. Read the full statement here

To read more articles like this get our newsletter

Subscribe for Cicerone's latest news, articles, offers and competitions. We send an email every couple of weeks and you may unsubscribe at any time. We never send emails on behalf of third parties.

Get involved with Cicerone