Police beg visitors 'don't come to the Yorkshire Dales today' after gridlock, fraying tempers and littering

A police officer has issued a plea for visitors to stay away from the Yorkshire Dales today after she spent Saturday patrolling busy areas of the National Park.

Cars parked all over the place after car parks filled up early on Saturday

Skipton-based PCSO Ruth Pearson dealt with bad parking, littering, large group gatherings and anti-social behaviour on her shift.

She warned that 'tempers were fraying' in the heat in congested spots such as Burnsall and Malham.

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On Saturday the National Park Authority's car parks were extremely busy, with spaces in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Malham, Stainforth and Linton Falls all full by early afternoon, leading to frustrated drivers parking on grass verges and double yellow lines.

"Beauty spots in Craven are absolutely gridlocked. Drivers are frustrated and they have nowhere to go. Please do not come to the area over the next few days.

"Just been up at Burnsall, common sense has most definitely been left at home. Just madness; social distancing non-existent, large groups together like one big party. Same story all over Craven. Take some personal responsibility."

Photos emerged on social media showing large amounts of litter left by the River Wharfe at Burnsall and the fire service warned that still-warm barbecues had been abandoned in the countryside, which is currently at severe risk of fire due to the dry weather.

PCSO Pearson's colleague Sergeant Paul Evans added: "An exceptionally busy shift in Craven. Congestion and parking main issues at our beauty spots. Parking enforcement assisted today and will be back on Sunday - If you park on yellow lines expect a ticket."

Police issues tickets to cars parked on double yellow lines

The Clapham-based Cave Rescue Organisation were also called out to rescue a 72-year-old man who has slipped and fallen while walking on the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, which is currently closed. He had bypassed the barrier to access the trail.

North Yorkshire Police have also warned visitors to 'have a plan B' if their destination is very crowded when they arrive, suggesting they instead head for quieter areas of the National Park.