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Covid-19: Police carrying out checks for overnight camping stays

Police are carrying out checks on people suspected to be camping overnight in Cumbria. Officers are working with officials from organisations such as the Lake District National Park to both gather information and act on it as efforts continue to stop the spread of Covid-19. Overnight stays away from home are still prohibited under the Government guidance, meaning any visitors to areas such as the Lake District should go home at the end of their day trip. This also applies to people staying overnight in vehicles such as camper vans and motorhomes. As well as dealing with this issue, agencies are also spending time clearing up after people who have abused their stay in the county by leaving litter at beauty spots. In some cases bin bags have been filled by staff shocked at the type of rubbish left behind. Among the areas to be subject to checks will be scenic locations such as around Bassenthwaite and Thirlmere. Inspector Rachel Gale said: “Over the weekend, numerous fixed penalty notices were given out to people camping overnight. “This included five notices to people camping at Thirlmere. “As well as issuing fixed penalty notices, our officers have also helped with the clean-ups needed after some visitors have left. “In recent days at Thirlmere they were confronted with waste including plastic and glass, empty cider cans, rotten food, cardboard boxes, the remains of barbecues and even toilet waste. “We want the message to be clear: we are checking and we are issuing fines to those who choose to visit here and stay overnight away from their home, including camping or staying in their vehicles overnight.” Officers today (June 10) carried out patrols through areas including Honister Pass, Buttermere, Whinlatter, Dodd Wood and Newlands Pass. One man from Cheshire and five people from Birmingham were spotted breaching guidelines and will have to pay fines. Richard Leafe, chief executive at the Lake District National Park, said: “We remind all our visitors that the Lake District is there to be enjoyed during the day.  “But we ask that you return home each evening.  “Our team are working hard with Cumbria Police to reinforce the message that overnight stays are not allowed.    “Please help us to look after this special place and make sure your visit leaves no trace.” Insp Gale added: “The Lake District is a beautiful place and we understand perfectly why people want to visit. “To those visiting I’d add: social distancing must be observed at all times, vehicles must be parked legally and considerately and visitors must take their rubbish away to be disposed of safely and responsibly. “Roads blocked by parked cars and piles of discarded bottles and barbecues on the lakeshores are not acceptable.” Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do:

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