As the lockdown begins to ease, the Lake District has seen a significant increase in the number of visitors. While many are acting in a considerate way, there have been instances of visitor behaviour that has put pressure on the local communities and the emergency services.
Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority comments:
“We’re delighted the nation has such an appetite to the visit the Lake District. Our communities have been hit hard by COVID19 and as they start to recover, we ask all our visitors to be kind to both people and the place when they arrive. We’ve had some real issues with littering, fires, illegal camping and terrible car parking in the last couple of weeks.
“We recognise that people have spent many weeks cooped up at home and being in such a beautiful place as the Lake District is exciting but please remember it’s also a place when people live and work. Please make sure that there is no trace of your visit and you leave with great memories.”
Agencies are urging people to follow the Countryside Code on their visit:
Respect other people:
- consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors. Do not block and narrow roads with your car. Only park in marked car parks. Inconsiderate parking could prevent emergency vehicles passing you. Please visit saferlakes.co.uk and only travel to places that have available parking.
- leave gates and property as you find them and stick to paths. Sanitise your hands before and after you touch anything.
Protect the natural environment:
- leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
- keep dogs under effective control
- Do not light fires or BBQs. It is very dry and fires can spread quickly endangering the natural environment, people’s homes and lives.
Enjoy the outdoors:
- plan ahead and be prepared. Don’t take risks in the water or on the fells.
- follow advice and local signs.
Inconsiderate parking caused particular problems for the county’s emergency services.
Craig Drinkald, Area Manager, Head of Community Safety, Cumbria County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“While we understand that people want to get out and enjoy our county’s beautiful scenery, it’s important everyone does so responsibly.
“We are asking people to ensure they park in a safe and considerate way that allows access for fire appliances and other emergency vehicles. If you can’t guarantee this then please find a safer alternative place to park or return at a different time. Fire engines are approximately 2.5 metres wide. Therefore if you’re parking your vehicle and don’t think a van could get through the space, it’s extremely unlikely that a fire engine will either. So please keep this in mind, especially on our narrow country lanes. The delays this can cause could cost lives. We’d also urge people not to light fires or BBQs. The weather has been exceptionally dry for weeks and the potential for dangerous wild fires is high.”
Sector Manager for North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Rick Shaw, reiterated this advice. He said:
“As people head to Cumbria to enjoy the outdoors in the beautiful county, we ask that they are considerate of their parking and make sure that they leave enough room for ambulances and other emergency services to get through. In a life-threatening emergency every second counts and if an ambulance is delayed due to dangerous and thoughtless parking, it really can mean the difference between life and death. We know that the vast majority of people do act responsibly but please bear in mind that we need extra space to allow large vehicles to pass at speed if necessary.”