It has been months since many people have been able to enjoy a day trip in the countryside, but with restrictions starting to lift, two Northumberland organisations have said they will be welcoming visitors ‘with open arms’ this bank holiday weekend.

Northumberland County Council and Visit Northumberland want visitors to enjoy our beautiful county, while reminding them to abide by the Countryside Code.

The new campaign ‘Live it. Love it. Leave it Unspoilt.’ reminds tourists to protect wildlife, park responsibly, and take rubbish home while enjoying attractions such as Kielder Water and Forest Park, Sycamore Gap and the Northumberland coast.

David Hall, Chair at Visit Northumberland said: “We are delighted that certain restrictions have been lifted and people can enjoy our beautiful rural region once more.

“Although the government advice is to stay local, we do expect an influx of visitors across the May bank holiday. Many people from outside the county may not know Northumberland well and we want to welcome them while gently reminding people to help keep our glorious county pristine for others to enjoy.

Northumberland County Council has made a significant investment in improving regional facilities so as to help visitors leave no trace.

Paul Jones, Director of Local Services at Northumberland County Council, said: “We want to encourage tourists to visit but to also respect our fantastic county.

“We’re working with landowners to provide overflow parking in some of our busiest areas, have installed more bins with extra collections, and have all of our public toilets open with extra cleaning visits to help alleviate some of the common issues visitors face.

“However, people must remember that many of Northumberland’s towns and villages are small, with limited facilities and narrow access roads and to maintain public safety we’re still operating social distancing arrangements at facilities like public toilets, so at busy times there may be long queues.”

Restrictions currently permit non-essential retail to open, outdoor dining, and the rule of six outdoors amongst other things. Further restrictions are due to be lifted on May 17.