Lake District locals erect fake signs and roadblocks to keep tourists away from beauty spots as lockdown eases – The Sun

LAKE District locals have erected their own roadblocks to keep daytrippers away from beauty spots as the lockdown eases.

Police and tourism chiefs urged the public to stay away despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson allowing people to drive unlimited distances to take exercise.

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But some people have ignored the pleas — forcing residents to take action.

Signs have been put up saying towns are still closed or restricting access to rights of way and walking routes.

Huge logs have also been placed across laybys to prevent people parking.

And farmer Peter Edmondson used plastic barriers to create an unofficial roadblock to deter hikers.

He said: “We know it’s a right of way and we can’t do this legally, but we are going to do everything we can to keep ourselves safe.

“The government lifted everything six weeks too early in my opinion. And when they did the public were like stampeding horses. They’ve been given the green light and now think they can come tramping through my yard.

“They are touching our gates and fences and it’s not safe. But if the Government won’t protect us then we are going to protect ourselves.”

Peter, 65, lives in the tiny hamlet of Seathwaite at the head of the Borrowdale valley with wife Susan, 57.

Up to 2,000 people a day pass through their farmyard to climb a string of Lake District fells including England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike.

Most stayed away when the lockdown was announced but some have continued to visit, putting lives at risk.

Peter has suffered from pneumonia and recently had a lung operation, making him particularly vulnerable.

So he and his family erected a barrier across the road with a sign urging visitors to find an alternative route to avoid “compromising the safety of the vulnerable residents”.

Peter, whose family have farmed in the area for more than a century, said: “Lifting the lockdown doesn’t respect those of us living in a small place under such pressure from the public.

“They’ve got a right of way to walk through our yard but we are going to do our utmost to stop them. I do feel sorry for the decent people who want to enjoy the hills. But this virus is not going anywhere in the short term.

“We are going to have to live with it and for us that means making sure as few people as possible pass through here.

“That’s why we put the barrier and the signs up.”

His wife Susan added: “As soon as Boris said you can travel for exercise we knew we would have problems.

“Our family have had trips to Derbyshire and Corfu cancelled because of the lockdown so we are all in the same boat. We have been careful so why can’t everyone else be?”

The Lake District National Park’s chief executive Richard Leafe said: “Please don’t rush to visit us.”

And Cumbria Tourism said: “Tourism businesses in Cumbria remain closed and we urge everyone to continue to #StayHome.”

Cumbria has one of the worst coronavirus infection rates in the country.


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