The Peak District national park is one of 15 in the UK, all of which provide stunning vistas for people to soak in on a long walk. Until recently, the Government has prohibited long-distance travel and exercise more than once per day, but new measures mean visitors will likely flock to national parks.
Can you go to the Peak District national park?
Unlike some of the UK’s other parks, the Peak District national park has remained open during the coronavirus outbreak.
Park boundaries contain a litany of public access highways and rights of way, meaning it plays a vital part in road travel around northwest England.
However, while visiting is allowed, the park’s chief executive has urged people to “carefully consider” whether it is necessary.
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In a statement via the park’s website, Sarah Fowler appealed to potential visitors, urging them to consider their own and others’ wellbeing.
She said: “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.”
Ms Fowler asked people to continue to use local parks and open spaces to allow “breathing space” for park officials.
She added careful actions from the public could help prevent key workers and thoroughfares from falling under undue stress.
She continued: “With around 2,000 Covid-19 cases across Derbyshire alone and local services and resources already fighting on a significant front, it is vital that we limit the impacts on our residential towns and villages wherever possible.”
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“With a huge collective effort in respecting our national parks right now, they can be protected and will be there for us all to enjoy far beyond this current coronavirus crisis, including a responsible and vital return for our tourism sector.
“Those who live and work in our communities are already working hard to ensure there will be a warm welcome so our National Park can equally be enjoyed safely by everyone.”
The Peak District national park closed most of its facilities on March 18, days before the UK-wide Government lockdown.
Bike hire facilities, public toilets, and visitor centres remain shut, alongside food and drink concessions.
The latest Government advice, which came into effect on Wednesday, allowed people to venture outdoors for “unlimited” exercise.
However, councils have urged people against travelling to the UK’s beauty spots, as they fear a surge in visits could threaten COVID-19 transmission.
The County Councils Network said city “day-trippers” would face long traffic queues and a lack of available parking if they sought to exercise in the countryside.
The Welsh government has also told prospective visitors to stay away, as devolved powers mean they can keep the country under lockdown.
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