"If you live on the other side of our borders, please discover what's on your own doorstep ": Council leader urges visitors to North Yorkshire to not crowd busy spots including Scarborough, Whitby and Malham

Visitors to North Yorkshire have been urged to not crowd the county's beauty spots as lockdown restrictions ease.

A North Yorkshire County Council leader has expressed concerns that an influx of people from outside North Yorkshire will descend on the county's beauty spots over the Easter weekend.

The stay at home rule was lifted on Monday, meaning the public is free to travel around the country although people are still being asked to consider if their journey is essential and if they can stay local.

And a North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) leader has expressed concerns that an influx of people from outside North Yorkshire will descend on the county's beauty spots over the Easter weekend.

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Scarborough, Whitby, Malham Cove, and Sheepwash near Osmotherley, are all places the council has said may well be crowded over the weekend.

They have asked that anyone driving to those places turn around and choose another spot if a car park is full.

Richard Webb, North Yorkshire's director of public services, said: "As we now approach Easter, I want to invoke the words of Aretha Franklin. Today is all about respect.

"That respect means all of us being careful as we enjoy some of our newly-found freedoms.

"I want all of us to make the most of fresh air and exercise. Meet other people outdoors by all means, but please keep to the rule of six.

"Plan ahead - how far do you really need to travel?

"Stay local, discover the quiet places, and avoid crowded ones.

"Having lived and worked myself in other parts of Yorkshire, Durham and Teeside, all of these have other great places to visit. If you live on the other side of our borders, please discover what's on your own doorstep rather than travelling miles into North Yorkshire.

"Please treat our community how you would wish your community to be treated. It's all about respect."

Tom Hind, chief executive of North Yorkshire Moors National Park, said extra patrols and park rangers will be on the Moors over the weekend to ensure safety. He said: "We are delighted to be able to welcome people back. We recognise how important it is for people to get back in the great outdoors.

"The toll the lockdowns have taken is really significant. We need to make sure as National Park authority that we're ready.

"It's got to be borne in mind that the National Park is someone's back garden. Make sure you understand the government guidance. If it's busy, move on."

Mr Hind went on to urge walkers to take their litter home with them, and keep their dogs on leads if visiting the Moors due to lambing season and the number of ground-nesting birds.