NORTHUMBERLAND County Council urged the public this week to ‘stay at home as much as possible’ following concerns over visitors flocking to local attractions in their droves.

The council’s message came after the relaxing of lockdown measures and reopening of car parks at tourist attractions throughout the county.

New guidance released by the Government last week allowed people to travel long distances to exercise.

But disgruntled residents throughout Tynedale reported an increase in visitors with reopened car parks overflowing.

As well as asking residents to stay at home, the council spokeswoman added: “When people do go out to exercise, they should do so with caution, and keep their distance from others.”

“We’re also asking that if people travel somewhere to exercise, they are respectful and sensible and not block roads where people live. There have been reports of inconsiderate parking on roads and streets surrounding closed car parks.”

Northumbria Police said community engagement officers had been in attendance at tourist locations throughout the district.

Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman urged the public visiting the countryside over the Bank Holiday Weekend to treat local residents and the landscape with consideration and respect.

He said: “I understand local frustrations and concerns that some recent visitors to our area seem happy to flout these clear guidelines and to disregard any thoughts for the host community.

“Social distancing is non-negotiable and must be adhered to at all times."