Friday 10 July 2020
"After more than three months of restrictions on our daily lives, I’m delighted that this week we have opened the doors to many of our visitor facilities in the Peak District National Park.
"This follows countless local businesses and accommodation providers who have also worked tirelessly in recent weeks and have been counting down the days to be able to share their passion and produce from the Peak District once more.
"Although our visitor and bike hire centres may look and feel a little different for the time being, the same warm welcome remains. Our teams will be ensuring our centres are as safe as possible for everyone, so please respect our colleagues as we look to provide a service as close to normal as we can.
"Despite the unquestionable challenges to our personal and working lives from Covid-19, ‘lockdown’ has also shown communities to be resilient and remarkably adaptable. This crisis has put a spotlight on how we can do some things better; reducing our travel footprint and working more from home, connecting with the outdoors on our doorstep and even making more space for nature in our homes and backyards.
"At the heart of our recovery from lockdown have also been our national parks, for which the Peak District has been no exception. We welcome back those who last set foot amongst our dales and uplands months ago and many new visitors seeking sanctuary in our landscapes and in nature for the first time. I’d like to thank those people who have looked after our National Park while you’ve been away - our rangers, farmers and land managers, our communities and the emergency services to name but a few. To those who have slowly returned and shown respect and care for the land, it’s wildlife and our communities - I thank you. To you all I ask - don’t let the side down, small actions make a huge difference - plan ahead and be flexible to avoid busy hotspots, take your litter home, leave the BBQ at home and stick to social distancing.
"Whilst this virus is by no means gone from our communities, the green shoots of a recovery are there. It is clear to me that our national parks can be the roots to a positive post-Covid-19 landscape, where wellbeing and our impact on the planet go hand-in-hand with our working and home lives under a ‘new normal’.
"We can all play our part in this. Whether it’s respect for the place and it’s communities, or respect for those who choose to spend time here, let’s all be Peak District Proud."