Stay in your home - don't come to ours

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The Lake District National Park Authority along with Cumbria Police, the National Trust, NFU and Farmer Network are reminding people to remain at home during the Coronavirus pandemic and avoid walking through farm yards and near people’s homes.

Andrea Meanwell, Farming Officer for the Lake District National Park Authority said that she has been talking to concerned farmers and reported that: “One farmer from Borrowdale said they usually love saying hello to people when they come through the yard but at the moment they are having to keep children inside the house in order to maintain our social distancing and keep their family safe.”

Maria Benjamin a farmer from Nibthwaite Grange Farm added: “It’s a busy, stressful time on the farm with lambing and calving and farmers don’t need the additional worry of contamination to gates and property. Please use your discretion and avoid farmyards and rural homes when exercising”.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, of Cumbria Constabulary, said: “We continue to urge people living outside the county not to visit as we aim to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“We also ask people to remember that many of the rights of way, paths, gates and stiles they might walk on or touch on a day out in Cumbria are on farmers’ land, near their homes - where they carry out essential work.

“Your visit to their property may be spreading the virus that could affect all of us. Whilst exercising is essential for physical and mental wellbeing, I would ask everybody to avoid all unnecessary travelling in accordance with Government rules and to stay away from rural homes when exercising.

“The message for people is that we all have an opportunity to protect our brave NHS workers and save lives. We are all in this together and we must all follow this essential advice.”

In a bid to encourage people to observe the Government’s social distancing guidance, the National Park has produced easily downloadable signs for farmers and other local residents to print at home to remind people to be cautious during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The signs can be found at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/coronavirus and remind people to keep a safe distance from others, to sanitise hands before and after touching shared surfaces such as gates and stiles and where appropriate, advise on alternative routes to minimise contact.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor said: “Last weekend we saw significant amounts of tourists travel to the Lake District, and my message is really simple, the Lake District is closed.

“Pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed, and we do not want to see people travelling to the Lakes in caravans and camper vans or driving many miles in their cars to go walking on the fells.

“The Government guidance is really clear in relation to personal movements to limit the spread of coronavirus.”

Under the restrictions, people must stay at home and only leave for the following reasons:-

• to exercise once a day – either alone or with members of your household
• shopping for basic necessities, although this should be done as little as possible
• medical need or to provide care for a vulnerable person
• travel to or from work but only where this is absolutely necessary

Temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor said: “It is really clear that people should not be travelling unless there is an essential reason to do so. It does not mean on nice days you can drive into the Lakes and go walking, or ride your motorbike to Devils Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale.

“I still want my officers to engage, explain and encourage the public in relation to the restrictions that are in place. There is now legislation that means people can be fined for breaching the restrictions, but my preference is that my officers do not need to resort to doing so, and that the public show common sense and do not travel into the Lakes.

“Over the weekend people will see my officers in the Lakes and the Kirkby Lonsdale areas, and they can expect to be stopped and asked whether their travel is essential.

“As we saw on Thursday evening there was an outpouring of support nationally for the NHS, and people need to ensure they follow the Government guidance and restrictions in these unprecedented times to ensure we do not overburden the NHS.”

*A stone marking the entrance to the National Park boundary near Kendal, will from today display a temporary sign asking people to stay at home.

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Stay in your home - don't come to ours
Stay in your home - don't come to ours
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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