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‘Please don’t leave your home to come to ours’ urge Lake District farmers

The Lake District National Park Authority along with Cumbria Police, the National Trust, NFU and Farmer Network are reminding people to remain at home during the Coronavirus pandemic and avoid walking through farm yards and near people’s homes.

Andrea Meanwell, Farming Officer for the Lake District National Park Authority said that she has been talking to concerned farmers and reported that: “One farmer from Borrowdale said they usually love saying hello to people when they come through the yard but at the moment they are having to keep children inside the house in order to maintain our social distancing and keep their family safe.”

Maria Benjamin a farmer from Nibthwaite Grange Farm added: “It’s a busy, stressful time on the farm with lambing and calving and farmers don’t need the additional worry of contamination to gates and property. Please use your discretion and avoid farmyards and rural homes when exercising”.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, of Cumbria Constabulary, said: “We continue to urge people living outside the county not to visit as we aim to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“We also ask people to remember that many of the rights of way, paths, gates and stiles they might walk on or touch on a day out in Cumbria are on farmers’ land, near their homes – where they carry out essential work.

“Your visit to their property may be spreading the virus that could affect all of us. Whilst exercising is essential for physical and mental wellbeing, I would ask everybody to avoid all unnecessary travelling in accordance with Government rules and to stay away from rural homes when exercising.

“The message for people is that we all have an opportunity to protect our brave NHS workers and save lives. We are all in this together and we must all follow this essential advice.”

In a bid to encourage people to observe the Government’s social distancing guidance, the National Park has produced easily downloadable signs for farmers and other local residents to print at home to remind people to be cautious during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The signs can be found at www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/coronavirus and remind people to keep a safe distance from others, to sanitise hands before and after touching shared surfaces such as gates and stiles and where appropriate, advise on alternative routes to minimise contact.

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