Protect Rural Communities

Sunset at Heddon Mouth
Charlotte Thomas


Exmoor National Park Authority is issuing a plea for people to protect its rural communities and follow Government advice to avoid travel and remain at home wherever possible.

Their public carparks and toilets will be closing from today in support of updated government guidelines* advising that people should stay near their primary residence and avoid all but essential travel.

The advice states: “Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence. Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.”

Sarah Bryan, Chief Executive of Exmoor National Park, said: “All travel to the National Park for recreational purposes must cease now to allow the full focus of the National Park Authority, and frontline services, to be directed at protecting our communities.

“We are a deeply rural place, with grocery shops and hospitals few and far between. What happened at the weekend with people flocking to the area was utterly irresponsible and has left food isles stripped bare for our largely elderly population, who are themselves very vulnerable to the illness. As people are out enjoying themselves, our communities are shouldering the risk.

“This is clearly unacceptable and so to discourage further travel, we are closing our public carparks and toilets. We ask that people are considerate in not travelling to the area while we complete this vital task and very much look forward to the day when we can extend them a warm Exmoor welcome once again.”