PICTURES of packed parks and seaside towns over the weekend prompted outrage and calls for stricter measures to enforce social distancing.

A sunny Mother’s Day weekend saw people taking the opportunity to head outdoors, despite government advice to avoid doing so unless it was essential, which had an impact on rural communities.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded by imposing a lockdown, with people only allowed to leave their homes for essential work, to get supplies or for medical reasons.

Some of Tynedale’s rural beauty spots experienced an influx of tourists at the weekend.

But following Mr Johnson’s announcement, a spokesman for Northumberland National Park said: “We ask that people support the NHS by adhering to government advice. Please do not travel unnecessarily and please follow the advice regarding social distancing. If you need to access open spaces you should do this close to home where possible.”

It said its car parks and rights of way would remain open, but it had closed all toilet facilities, cafes and visitor centres.

On Monday, Northumbrian Water closed its Waterside parks, leisure locations and reservoirs to the public in light of the situation.

David Hall, its head of commercial strategy and transformation, said it was in support of the Government’s efforts to defeat the virus. He added: “We also believe it is important to close our sites so that we can support rural communities who have been overwhelmed in recent days by a significant number of visitors who are not observing social distancing protocols and putting a strain on villages and their resources.”

Visit Corbridge, a community website promoting the village, posted on Facebook this week to say it was time to change its name in our minds to ‘please do not visit Corbridge’ to keep visitors and residents safe.