As the country comes towards the end of a third week of coronavirus ‘lockdown’ the Peak District National Park Authority is urging people not to be tempted to break government measures during the Easter break.
National Park ranger patrols, in partnership with the police and other agencies, have consistently recorded a significant drop in visitors since government restrictions were put in place on 23rd March.
Visitor activity trackers at locations, such as the popular Monsal Trail near Bakewell, have been recording around a 90 per cent drop in numbers, with the remaining volume expected to be some of the National Park’s 38,000 residents taking recommended daily exercise.
The government’s advice remains for people to stay at home and exercise locally, with car journeys limited to those attending work or undertaking essential services.
The National Park has been encouraging its tens of thousands of followers on social media to continue sharing their love of the Peak District by undertaking challenges from home and sharing experiences of wildlife and nature in their local area.
A spokesperson for the National Park said: “Our ranger patrols have been heartened by the quiet scenes experienced in the Peak District in the last couple of weeks and, where we have spoken to occasional visitors arriving by vehicle, they have understood the message and headed home.
“With Easter often an important family time and so many of us now restricted in our communication with others, we know the temptation will be there alongside the warm weather to meet up with loved ones and friends.
“However, the government’s measures and therefore our own message remains unchanged – stay home, protect our NHS and save lives. It’s in all our interests to stay safe and well – and not to risk catching or spreading coronavirus.
“The best possible Easter gift we can all give is to work together as individuals and as a whole community to reduce the impact on the front line workers giving their time and, in some cases their lives, to look after us all.”
National Park ranger teams will be patrolling throughout the Peak District’s 555 square miles during the Bank Holiday break, along with providing a presence in local communities.