Police are asking people in Staffordshire not to travel to the county’s beauty spots as the country continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staffordshire Police say they are continuing to see visitors attending popular spots including the Roaches in the Staffordshire Moorlands and Cannock Chase.
On Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed new social restrictions due to a lack of compliance with measures to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
Chief Inspector Thorley, who is the Moorlands area commander and force lead for Staffordshire Police Rural and Wildlife Crime team, said people were still making their way areas including the Roaches and Chase for walking, cycling and days out.
“While people are being responsible on the whole and many are staying at home we continue to see visitors.
“We understand people want space and fresh air, but the problem is with large numbers of people arriving and being in close proximity to each other at car parks in popular parts of the county.
“Please respect the government’s guidelines and help us to protect you and get through this difficult period.”
Chief Inspector Thorley said: “Everyone will have seen the photos of large numbers of people in Snowdonia and the Lake District at the weekend. This can be a problem closer to home. Please work with us so we can all get through this together.”
He said that many of the rural areas in Staffordshire were experiencing a busy time as they were involved in lambing.
“Often farms and small holdings will contain elderly people who may be vulnerable and self-isolating but still have to tend to their livestock day and night.
“Well-meaning visitors to these areas are causing this section of our community to be alarmed as many public footpaths will cross such land and the gates used by the public are also frequently used by those working the land which puts them at risk unnecessarily.
“The Peak District covers three forces – Staffordshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire – and I would ask that the public do not visit during this period.”
“I would suggest that people exercise closer to their homes whilst keeping a safe distance apart. Officers will be regularly patrolling the areas in order to ensure the current orders to stay at home and not gather in groups is followed.”
Yesterday Cheshire Police asked people to show consideration when walking through rural areas – amid reports farmers had been assaulted elsewhere in the country.
That force said: “Please remember some farmers are having to self isolate for various reasons and you could be putting the very people that provide food for the nation at risk.
“Try to avoid walking on routes through farm yards if you are taking your daily exercise. Please also consider until we learn more about this virus the risk of numerous hands touching the same gate latches and stiles.
“We have already seen some members of the farming community (not Cheshire) suffer abuse and physical assault for raising their concerns with those crossing their land and not playing their part to help reduce the risks, and this unacceptable.”
Tittesworth Reservoir, which is owned by Severn Trent, is closed to visitors – with Staffordshire County Council saying visitor centres, toilets, cafes, children’s play areas, barbecue facilities & car parks at have closed at all their country parks.