Coronavirus (Covid-19) news

Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

Last updated: 27 March 2020

If you love the Lake District please follow this advice:

Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.

It is important that we follow government advice and stay at home.


Our message to our communities and our visitors:

The Lake District National Park Authority is urging people to avoid travel and remain at home in a plea to help protect its rural communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

From Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, Richard Leafe: “The Government has made it very clear that all non-essential travel shouldn't happen, so we are asking people not to come to the Lake District on the basis of that advice. Please remember the limited resources that support our local communities, businesses, farmers, police and rescue services are all under pressure at the moment.

“These are unprecedented times, and I never thought I’d encourage people to stay away from the Lake District. However, our footpaths often go through the homes of farmers and their families, our hotels and attractions are closing and our rescue services must be available to support this public health crisis. Right now, we need to do all we can to limit the spread of the coronavirus and this means people staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving hundreds of Cumbrian lives.

“We will continue to work with the police, local councils and other partners to look after our staff and volunteers and everyone who calls the Lake District home. We look forward to a time when we will, once again, return to some sense of normality and welcome visitors back to this special place.”

Press release: National Park calls for people to stay at home, help the NHS and protect lives - 23 March 2020

Press release: Please don’t leave your home to come to ours urge Lake District farmers - 27 March 2020


Around the National Park:

The Lake District National Park is open but we are urging people to avoid travel and remain at home to help protect our rural communities during the coronavirus pandemic. This is in line with NHS and Public Health England Advice.

Many attractions, shops and accommodation providers are already closed, more are beginning to close, for now. Only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open. This may be subject to change.

If you have booked a holiday in the Lake District for the summer, please keep up to date with the latest government advice for future travel.

We all miss the Lake District National Park. Please follow us on social media, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates. And our webcam page will show the views from around the Lake District to enjoy  until we can welcome you back.

Public rights of way

Rights of ways are not being maintained in the usual way.

Currently there is no legislation allowing or enabling us to close public rights of way to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.  The grounds for Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) are very specific and do not include provision for the current situation.

Many paths are near to farmers and local people's homes and their families. We need to ensure that they are kept safe so please observe the new temporary signage.

Some alternative permitted paths have been made available to maintain social distancing and protect residents and local communities. If you see a sign for a permitted path, please follow the way markers along the temporary route. Maintain social distance and hand wash / sanitise after touching any shared surfaces in line with government social distancing advice.

Access to the National Park

Current guidance is that you should stay at home or in the immediate vicinity of your home. Please do not travel to, or around the Lake District National Park.

Daily exercise should not include travelling to a different area than that in which you live.

Press release: Please don’t leave your home to come to ours urge Lake District farmers - 27 March 2020

Car Parks

Our car parks around the Lake District National Park are now closed. They will remain only for use by our local communities, in populated areas for essential functions – such as attending GP appointments or for essential shopping.

Toilets

Our toilets around the Lake District National Park are now closed (25 March).

Holiday Homes

Please stay at your primary home for now as the critical services for our rural communities are already stretched during the Coronavirus outbreak. Please do not travel to the Lake District.

Brockhole on Windermere

Brockhole on Windermere will be closed to all visitors for now, including the playground and the car park. We are cancelling and will automatically refund all bookings for all activities and classes up until 1 May. We will keep this refund date under review.

The Brockhole closures page has more details regarding activity refunds and frequently asked questions.

Coniston Boating Centre

Coniston Boating Centre will be closed to all visitors for now. The car park is closed. We are cancelling and will automatically refund all bookings for boat hire up until 1 May. We will keep this refund date under review.

The Coniston closures page has more details regarding activity refunds and frequently asked questions.

Visitor Information Centres

Our three information centres at Keswick, Bowness on Windermere and Ullswater will be closed to visitors from 18 March. You can contact our TIC staff for information about those areas of the National Park by email:

Or call our contact centre 01539 724555

Guided Walks, Navigation and Winter Skills Courses

We are currently not taking any more bookings for any of our courses. We are cancelling and will automatically refund all bookings for courses up until 1 May. We will keep this refund date under review.

If you have a booking for any course and want to cancel, email us at bookings@lakedistrict.gov.uk for a full refund.

For our communities and farmers:

General Covid 19 2 A5 poster

We have 2 posters available, both in a variety of sizes, to download and display. These are to help communicate the message of social distancing across the Lake District National Park.

Download Lake District Covid 19 message posters

Our Services:

Committee Meetings

Our committees are no longer meeting in person. Some meetings will be cancelled and this will be shown on that meetings page on our website. We are working on new ways to hold committee meetings and conduct Authority business using different forms of communication, like phone and web meetings. Some committee meetings will be going ahead in these new ways.

Planning Service

The Government has written to Local Planning Authorities telling them it is important they continue to provide the best service possible in these stretching times and prioritise decision-making to ensure the planning system continues to function, especially where this will support the local economy.

In line with these Government expectations the Authority is continuing to progress decision-making wherever possible, but in a way which protects its staff and the people they would normally interact with.

  • Our team are working from home wherever possible.
  • We aim to continue to inspect application sites where required and possible. All visits will be unaccompanied and we will not meet people.
  • If we need to visit your property because you have submitted a planning application, or because we need to assess the potential impacts of a planning application on your property, we will contact you beforehand to notify you of an unaccompanied visit. We will only visit a site if you agree for us to do so unaccompanied.
  • Applications validated on or after 24 March 2020 which would normally be publicised by site notice will, temporarily, also be publicised by letter to adjoining properties where possible.

Services suspended until at least 1 May 2020

  • Face to face meetings, including duty planner and surgeries
  • New written pre-application advice
  • Development Control Committee meeting

How to contact the Planning Service

Please use email if possible - planning@lakedistrict.gov.uk

Direct dial numbers for case planners are unlikely to be answered

For queries needing immediate attention, our main HQ phone number 01539 724555 will be answered, messages passed on, and calls returned.

Current applications

If you are sending comments, amended plans or other information in relation to an ongoing application, please forward those details to planning@lakedistrict.gov.uk

Please note, due to the rapidly changing situation the above approaches are subject to immediate change without notification or consultation.

Contact Centre at our HQ in Kendal

Our contact centre staff are still available, but not in person. Please email us on hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk or call 01539 724555

Volunteering

Our volunteering service is suspending all activities. We are also currently not recruiting any new volunteers.

Fell Top Assessors

The Fell Top Assessor season finished early this year as people should not be using the fells during the Coronavirus outbreak. Weatheline will still show the met office weather forecast feed.