Police confirm Cleveland Way clifftop campers were a couple from Middlesbrough and Doncaster with a young child

A couple who live in separate households were responsible for pitching a tent just 6ft from a sheer drop above the beach at Port Mulgrave, North Yorkshire Police have confirmed.

The tent was positioned just 6ft away from a 280ft drop

The 30-year-old man, from Middlesbrough, and 27-year-old woman, from Doncaster, have both been issued with fixed penalty notices over the incident at the weekend in which they camped with a young child close to the edge of the soft clay cliffs just off the Cleveland Way.

The area is prone to landslips, several of which have occurred in recent weeks following wet weather. A path leading to the beach at Port Mulgrave collapsed last month.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

North Yorkshire Police were contacted at 1.30pm on Saturday by the Coastguard, who had received a report from a member of the public who was concerned about the location of a tent near to a cliff edge at Port Mulgrave.

The couple were fined for contravening a requirement to not leave or be outside their place of living.

Both Staithes Coastguard and police also gave them advice over the dangers of the location they had chosen to pitch the tent and the threat posed to themselves and the child who was with them.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Everyone is aware of the current restrictions that are in place to stay at home to stop the spread of Covid, so to travel from Middlesbrough and Doncaster with the intention to camp overnight is obviously a clear breach of the regulations. But to then choose to pitch a tent in such a dangerous location is completely irresponsible.

“Not only were the individuals involved risking their own safety and the safety of the child who was with them, if a landslide had occurred, they would also be risking the lives of the emergency services who would attend the resulting incident.

“Our thanks go to the member of the public who reported their concerns and to our Coastguard colleagues who also attended. Their actions may have averted a completely preventable tragedy.

“The pandemic is not over and Covid still presents a risk to public health. Lockdown restrictions are still in place to stop the spread, so we must keep on adhering to the rules to protect all of our chances of moving out of lockdown.”