Two walkers had to be rescued from Ingleborough Summit yesterday after travelling to Yorkshire from Rochdale, North Yorkshire Police has confirmed.
Breaking the ‘stay local’ order issued by the government just one week ago, a man and a woman travelled to the Yorkshire beauty spot, hoping to take in some of our beautiful scenery while getting a bit of exercise. The police have stated the pair arrived ‘ill-equipped’ for the hike, being met with low lying fog, ice and snow as they reached the top of the peak.
The pair called North Yorkshire Police for help at 4.30pm yesterday afternoon, saying that they were unable to find the paths due to ‘failing light’ and ‘wintery conditions’. The Cave Rescue Organisation were required to help the pair back down to safety. Officers had already spent the weekend turning rule breakers away from the beauty spot. Excuses the officers were faced with included that these people had ‘come out for a drive’ or had ‘come to look at the snow’.
Speaking about this incident Superintendent Mike Walker said: “This couple were incredibly fortunate to have come through this experience without injury and be able to tell the tale.
“We very clearly advised members of the public this weekend to stay at home and when taking exercise, stay local to stop the spread of Covid. Quite simply driving miles and miles, out of your village, town or city to visit an open space is not a necessary journey and is not acceptable.
“Neither is arriving at a challenging walking location, inexperienced and unprepared in treacherous weather conditions. By making an irresponsible and ill-informed decision, the safety of others such as the Cave Rescue Organisation volunteers is also put in jeopardy and if any injury resulted, pressure placed upon already stretched NHS resources.”
The Superintendent added: “It’s not just been challenging in the Dales either unfortunately. Across the county this weekend we have issued over 70 fixed penalty notices for breaches of the Covid regulations. On the coast in Scarborough we have again seen several house parties taking place, which have required our attendance.
Just today, the government updated their current lockdown guidance, clarifying what ‘stay local’ means after two girls were fined £200 each for visiting a Derbyshire beauty spot just five miles from their homes. The government clarified: “Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.”
Other Dales highlights such as Malham have also seen a large intake of visitors despite lockdown, with one Twitter user claiming the carpark was ‘half full’ on Saturday.