Edale in the Peak District. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Edale in the Peak District. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rescuers in the Peak District said they are dismayed by the number of people still travelling to the area despite the government edict to stay at home.

Edale Mountain Rescue Team said groups of people are walking, riding and running who have clearly travelled some distance to be in the national park and are effectively ‘carrying on as normal’.

The message was reinforced by Derbyshire Constabulary, which posted drone footage of members of the public who had driven to the area to walk.

On Tuesday the Peak District National Park Authority’s chief executive Sarah Fowler pleaded with visitors to stay away from the area. The UK Government has said, during the coronavirus pandemic, people should only undertake one outing per day for exercise, and should be alone or with members of their household. Travel should be for essential purposes only.

The volunteer mountain rescue team said: “The number of households containing four people with bikes has surprised us given the number of cars seen with people and bikes in.

“People should exercise safely and locally and not carry on with their adventures as normal. On various activity forums comments have been made of ‘we always go out there’; ‘we are always careful’; ’I have never had an accident’.

“Most, if not all people who mountain rescue teams assist are always careful and 99.9 per cent have never been rescued before. Yet Peak District teams still get called out over 300 times a year.”

The team said, if someone has an accident during the current Covid-19 outbreak they should remember that rescue cannot be guaranteed and if it is, it may not be as quick a response as normal.

“Assuming you do get a response, you will be putting at least 12 team members at potential risk from Covid-19. You will be putting at least 12 team members’ families at risk from Covid-19. You will be putting the ambulance service staff at additional risk from Covid-19 and you will be taking up an ambulance resource that will be required elsewhere.

“When you eventually get treated at hospital, which may take some time due to the current crisis, you will be taking up resource and you will be putting NHS staff at additional risk.

“If it is a serious accident you may not get to see your loved ones for some time as you may end up isolated.

“The Peak District countryside and hills will still be here when this crisis passes. The grass may even be little greener and the tracks and trails a little narrower and less muddy.

“Please stay at home; protect the NHS; save lives.”

Police in the area said the message is still not getting through.

A spokesperson said: “Officers from Derbyshire Constabulary drone unit have been out at beauty spots across the county, and footage was captured at Curbar Edge last night.

“Cars were parked in both the car park and on the hill up to it. The bags of stones that were at the front of the car park as a roadblock, had been pulled to the side to allow cars to enter.

“Plenty of people were walking about, many of which were arriving in cars and parking up before heading out for their walk.

“Some of the car number plates were coming back to keepers in Sheffield, so we know for a fact that people are travelling unnecessarily to visit these areas.

“The guidance is clear: daily exercise should be taken locally to your home. Under government guidance all travel is limited to essential travel only. Travelling to remote areas of the Peak District for your exercise is not essential travel.”

Police posted drone footage of people in the Peak District

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