Police called after campers set up tents at Yorkshire Dales beauty spot

The campers at Surrender Bridge. Photo: David Atkinson.

Police were called last night after a group of campers set up their tents at a Yorkshire Dales beauty spot, despite lockdown regulations banning overnight stays.

According to local residents, six vehicles arrived at a remote location between Swaledale and Arkengarthdale known as Surrender Bridge.

The set up tents around an old lead smelt milt and lit a fire inside the building, which is classified as a protected ancient monument by Historic England.

Police were called by local gamekeeper David Atkinson after the campers were reported to him by a local farmer.

Two officers arrived at around 10pm however the campers could not be moved on as they had been drinking.

Inspector Mark Gee, from Richmondshire neighbourhood policing team, said that officers spoke to eight adults, all in their mid 20s.

The four men and four men had travelled from West Yorkshire and were from six different households.

They were reported for offences which breach the current Covid-19 regulations.

Insp Gee added: “As they had been drinking they have had to remain there until this morning, but did pack up their belongings last night, in order to depart the area and return home first thing this morning.

“This is a clear breach of the regulations. Leaving your home address to camp overnight is not allowed.

“I would appeal to people to show respect for the communities in the Yorkshire Dales, and for those visiting the area to only do so for reasons allowed under the current laws.

“If you are unsure of the law, please consult the Government web sites, and check if your travel and visit is going to be lawful before setting off.”

A campervan had also parked up at the nearby water splash.

Police did move on this couple, who it is understood had travelled from Teesside.

The incident comes after the arrival of large numbers of bikers in Hawes since the rules were relaxed on Wednesday has angered local residents. [kofi]



  1. Even without the lurking threat of Covid 19, people shouldn’t be camping at Surrender Bridge, let alone lighting fires inside. Surely if people openly break regulations designed for the good of all, they should be punished – have their tents and vehicles confiscated. There can’t be ANYONE in Britain who isn’t aware of the rules, we’ve been told so many times.

    • Very well said unfortunately this country is to soft on these idiots who put others at risk

  2. They should have their transport seized, as the report says, everyone should know.

  3. I’m sure all of their vehicles should have been seized and crushed. Each one should have also had the new maximum fine. This situation we are all in isn’t a joke

    • Well said all their cars should be crushed and they shoulh have been locked up last night ot allowed to stay illegally what are the police thinking of they are a joke

  4. Sadly, police do not have the powers they need to deal with stupid, selfish people who show no respect for others. The government should not relax the guidance rules until there is much clearer evidence that covid 19 is under control. It needs a much firmer approach to punishing these idiots.

  5. What local community… The ghosts of the past? Over zealous nonsense by nimby locals Edward and Tubbs alert.

  6. I am heartily sick of NIMBY locals whinging and behaving as though just because you live in a place it’s yours. Government says you can now travel, end of. As for authorities closing toilets I hope someone brings action under the disability discrimination act for this stupid decision.

  7. Not only breaking Lockdown rules but lighting fires near Moorland that hasn’t seen rain for weeks and is like a tinder box! Another load of irresponsible idiots were found further on from four households in two tents. Lighting Bbq up next to Moorland. Unbelievable selfishness and no consideration for anyone but themselves. Sad times made more difficult by a select few.

  8. These people are the ones who wont catch the virus but spread it to others they are far from the only ones breaking the rules England should be like Italy with heavy prison sentences imposed but all we do is pat the idiots on the back and say dont be naughty again fine them £5,000 each crush there cars burn the tents they might just not do it again

  9. Perhaps if these selfish idiots are put in front of a television screen and made to watch some of the terrible coverage from the NHS and families that are suffering because of this deadly disease, then maybe it may sink into obviously no brain heads. Also all of the latter which people have suggested….


  10. I agree with all the comments.
    They should but there names in the paper’s. And a photo of them.

  11. Can’t wait some some imbeciles can they? They knew what they were doing or should that be certainly shouldn’t be……as the gormless group tried to hide themselves away. Solution get them at a later date to do some dry stone walling as their heads are blocked!!

  12. Any individual who receives a fine for breaching the government’s instructions should also receive a community service “fine” and be sent to hospitals to work with front line medical staff. Perhaps then they would realise what their idiotic selfish attitudes could lead to. Since the easing of the rules so many people are behaving as though everything is back to normal. What does it take to make them realise they could undo all the good work most of the population has done by abiding by the rules, whether we like it or not.

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