Northumberland's leaders issue 'stay at home' plea as temperatures in the county set to hit 21°C

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
With temperatures rising this week, Northumberland County Council continues to call for residents to ‘stay at home as much as possible’.

The weather is noticeably warmer today and there could be highs of 21°C on Wednesday, followed by temperatures up towards the high teens for the rest of the week.

People will likely be tempted to spend more time outdoors, particularly in the wake of the Government easing the coronavirus restrictions so that ‘unlimited’ exercise is allowed as well as sunbathing on beaches and in parks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, a Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said: “We’re asking everyone, where they can, to stay at home as much as possible – it’s the safest place to be.

Cheviot view from Simonside
Cheviot view from Simonside
Cheviot view from Simonside | Jane Coltman

“When people do go out to exercise, they should do so with caution, and keep their distance from others.

“We’re also asking that if people travel somewhere to exercise, they are respectful and sensible and not block roads where people live. There have been reports of inconsiderate parking on roads and streets surrounding closed car parks.

“We have a duty to do all that we can to protect our communities, and thank people for their support in this.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This led to complaints over the weekend about the influx of visitors in certain areas, particularly Bellingham, where cars spilled out of the Hareshaw Linn car park and were lining the village streets.

Coun Steven Bridgett, whose Rothbury ward includes parts of the national park, was also concerned about the additional pressures that visitors place on local facilities such as the village Co-op and other shops.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A spokeswoman for the Northumberland National Park Authority said: “Please see our statement on the website. We are asking people to think before they come to the park, to respect our communities and follow the Countryside Code.

“Our rangers are patrolling areas and we ask the public to adhere to signs and advice.”

In its statement released last week, the authority admitted that the loosening of the restrictions was not ‘the approach we have been advocating’, but it wants to ‘deliver the Government’s message and manage the situation as safely and responsibly as we can’.

The park authority’s CEO, Tony Gates, said: “The national park is a living, working landscape, and we ask that people respect this and consider whether their visit to the national park is necessary at this time.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Meanwhile, Kielder Water and Forest Park has announced that some car parks and public toilets will reopen on Wednesday, May 20.

‘We appreciate that people want to start visiting the Kielder area again, but would urge anybody who does choose to visit to be respectful of the local communities,’ a statement said.

‘Please stay away from village and residential centres, and strictly observe Government guidelines on social distancing wherever you are in the park.

‘As much as possible, please continue to stay local and exercise close to home.’

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The car parks that will be open are: Hawkhope; Tower Knowe; Elf Kirk; Matthew’s Linn; Bakethin Nature Reserve; Kielder Skyspace lower car park; Kielder Castle. The public toilets opposite Kielder Castle and at Tower Knowe will be open.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you