Coronavirus: Police warn tourists to stay away after Peak District 'overwhelmed' with cars and litter

Joe GampContributor, Yahoo News UK
Yahoo News UK
Police have urged sun seeking Brits to avoid heading to the Peak District over the bank holiday weekend. (BPM Media)
Police have urged sun seeking Brits to avoid heading to the Peak District over the bank holiday weekend. (BPM Media)

A police force in England says tourists are failing to heed warnings to stay away from the Peak District, as the beauty spot experiences an influx of visitors during the coronavirus lockdown.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

According to the latest lockdown rules in England, people can drive to outdoor open spaces with members of the same household.

As such, people have been seen sunbathing in parks, gathering on beaches and flocking to beauty spots to enjoy sunny spring weather this week.

On Friday, images showed long lines of parked cars, piles of rubbish and burnt-out barbecues in parts of Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

Images show piles of rubbish and burnt-out barbecues left behind in parts of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. (BPM Media)
Images show piles of rubbish and burnt-out barbecues left behind in parts of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. (BPM Media)

Staffordshire police chief inspector Mark Thorley has reiterated calls for people to refrain from flocking to the region this Bank Holiday weekend.

He said: "A number of issues were raised last weekend with many coming for a day out in the Moorlands.

"I am working with partners to make sure this weekend is safe for those coming whilst not causing unnecessary distress to the local community.

“There are few car parks and no toilets."

Similar scenes have also been seen at Stoke-on-Trent's beauty spots, with youths flouting social distancing guidelines to come together.

In the Manifold Valley, high quantities of litter and charred barbecues were left behind by visitors last weekend.

High quantities of litter were left behind by visitors to the Manifold Valley last weekend. (BPM media)
High quantities of litter were left behind by visitors to the Manifold Valley last weekend. (BPM media)

In Butterton, one of the gateways to the Manifold Valley, families were seen using a play area by village hall and having picnics on benches.

Maggie Risby, clerk of Butterton Parish Council, said: “Things went absolutely mad here in the Moorlands last weekend. It was horrendous. We had an influx of visitors at the play area at Butterton Village Hall.

“The equipment is not sanitised. We have now had to put up notices and padlock the gates.

People flocked to Southend beach to enjoy the hottest day of the year so far. (Getty Images)
People flocked to Southend beach to enjoy the hottest day of the year so far. (Getty Images)

“People in the village have tried so hard to abide by the rules, but people coming in and using the equipment could pass on the virus and ruin everything.”

It follows news that Britons flocked to beaches across England on the hottest day of the year so far on Wednesday.

The mercury climbed to 27.8C (82F) near Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, as sunbathers across England enjoyed new found-freedom following the easing of restrictions.

People enjoy the hot weather at Whitley Bay beach in Tyneside. (Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather at Whitley Bay beach in Tyneside. (Getty Images)

Several routes into beaches in Devon were packed with traffic, with Barnstaple officers saying traffic wardens were running out of tickets because of the number of vehicles that had been abandoned.

And yesterday, campers in Cornwall were given an early morning wake-up call by police and ordered to return home.

Coronavirus: what happened today

Click here to sign up to the latest news, advice and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter

Read more about COVID-19

How to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms

What you can and can’t do under lockdown rules

In pictures: How UK school classrooms could look in new normal

How public transport could look after lockdown

How our public spaces will change in the future

Help and advice

Read the full list of official FAQs here

10 tips from the NHS to help deal with anxiety

What to do if you think you have symptoms

How to get help if you've been furloughed

What to read next