Villagers take matters into their own hands to stop walkers from visiting Dales

Residents of a picturesque North Yorkshire village have worked together to stop people from visiting the area during the coronavirus lockdown.

Villagers in Horton-in-Ribblesdale have said they were shocked to see so many people heading into the village, which is near Pen-y-Ghent, to go on long walks - despite the Government banning all non-essential travel.

On Saturday, the Government clarified its position on exercise and travel, urging people to "stay local" when exercising ahead of the first weekend in lockdown.

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Those who lives in Horton-in-Ribblesdale have said people have been travelling from as far as Lincoln to go for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales.

The JCB blocking the car park of the Crown Hotel in Horton-in-Ribbledale. Credit: Sharon Millman.

It has led to a number of car parks and laybys being blocked off by the residents, to ensure visitors have nowhere to park.

Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it Millman, who runs The Crown Hotel in the village, has had the pub's car park blocked off by a JCB belonging to a local businessman.

She said: "People have been coming all week to go for a walk. As residents, we are trying to tell them they are doing wrong but they won't listen.

"Someone parked just up from me a few days ago and a neighbour went to talk to them and they just told him to 'get a life.

"Some people have travelled from as far as Lincoln. A policeman in the village spoke to them and told them to get back in their car and drive for three hours without stopping until they were back home."

She said there are a lot of elderly people in the village, and locals have raised concerns about visitors bringing the coronavirus to the village. "We are doing the best we can to stop them coming," she added.

Kathryn Jackson, who lives on a farm in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, said: "Last weekend there were people queueing to park on the laybys. Whenever you speak to them, they just say 'we've come for a walk.' The people in the village and been trying to isolate and only going shopping when they need to.

"We have got neighbours and friends who are in their 80s. People have to be more careful. People who could be carrying it have been coming to the village, and they are coming in threes, fours and fives in cars. It's unbelievable the amount of people that have been walking."