A NATIONAL park boss has called for "considerate" behaviour over the bank holiday weekend after revealing some visitors had congrated in groups at busy sites. 

People had also lit barbeques, camped out overnight, and dropped litter, according to the chief executive of Northumberland National Park, Tony Gates. 

Mr Gates said some cases, following the government's easing of lockdown and recent hot weather, had caused difficulties with social distancing, and had increased pressure on staff, volunteers and emergency services.

Now he is calling on visitors to take extra care to keep themselves and other people safe, while showing care for the countryside and local communities. 

And the chief executive warned that inappropriate behaviour, such as gathering in groups or overnight camping, would be reported to relavent authorities. 

"We would like to remind everyone that whilst Northumberland National Park is one of Britain's finest landscapes, home to rare wildlife and special habitat and historic sites, it is also a living working landscape and home to local communities," said Mr Gates. 

"Members of the public should make every effort to leave the park in the condition they find it. Unfortunately, we have seen some cases of visitors gathering in groups, leaving litter and having barbecues. This is simply not acceptable at this time.

"We understand the wish to visit the beautiful locations our region has to offer, but please be considerate in your journey and only travel if absolutely necessary. Any instance of inappropriate behavior such as gathering in groups or overnight camping will be reported to the relevant authorities."

To help people stay safe during their visit, the National Park has outlined six key messages for the public to consider before their journey:

1. Practice social distancing at all times.

2. Brush up on the Countryside Code (which includes guidance on walking on farmland and driving on narrow roads).

3. Keep dogs on a lead, take all litter home, and stick to footpaths to protect wildlife.

4. Only come for exercise – do not camp or light barbecues or fires.

5. Avoid popular spots, park responsibly, and do not try to park in or near full car parks.

6. Respect local communities and avoid residential areas including farmyards where possible.

Throughout the Bank Holiday weekend, the National Park will also be sharing ideas on how people can enjoy the outdoors closer to home as they continue their #OutdoorsIndoors campaign.