Campers warned after pitching tent and lighting fire near ruins in Yorkshire Dales

People from six different households in West Yorkshire were handed fines by police after being spotted camping in the Yorkshire Dales.

Officers were called to the smelt mill ruins near Surrender Bridge – off the Langthwaite and Feetham road – at 8.30pm on May 15.

A local resident had contacted police after seeing five tents had been pitched and a fire had been lit close to the ruins.

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Officers spoke to four men and four women aged in their mid-20s. They had travelled from West Yorkshire and were from six different households.

Tents pitched near the ruins at Surrender Bridge

Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it www.facebook.com/groups/yorkshirecoronavirusThey were reported for offences which breach the current regulations and handed fines.

As they had been drinking they had had to remain there overnight, but they did pack up their belongings and put the fire out in order to depart the area and return home first thing on Saturday.

Officers also moved a campervan on from the location which is believed to have travelled from Teesside.

Inspector Mark Gee, of the Richmondshire Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This was a clear breach of the regulations. Leaving your home address to camp overnight is not allowed.

“I appeal to people to show respect for the communities in the Yorkshire Dales, and for those visiting the area to only do so for reasons allowed under the current laws.

“If you are unsure of the law, please consult the Government website – www.gov.uk – and check if your travel and visit is going to be lawful before setting off.

“I appreciate it is a confusing time but ignorance is no excuse in law – you need to cover yourself.”

Insp Gee also issued a warning to motorcyclists after a large number of motorcycles were seen in the Dales in the last week.

He added: “Many motorcyclists genuinely seem to think they are legally covered to just go for a ride out. Under the current regulations this is simply not the case.

“We know that the majority of riders don’t want to cause any harm or upset to local communities, but they need to realise that if they break the law as it stands the police will have to take action.”

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