Day trippers visiting the Yorkshire countryside have been told to stop treating it as their “playground.”
North Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan said there were “alarming and unfair” levels of overcrowding and litter as people visit beauty spots for a break from lockdown.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park said it believed a high number of first-time visitors had played a role.
It has now published advice for visitors.
The organisation’s chairman Carl Lis said: “We want everyone to enjoy the National Park and to have a safe space in which to relax and exercise, but this can only happen if everyone respects the land, respects the community and respects each other.”
The North York Moors National Park Authority said its rangers had observed plenty of people exploring the countryside responsibly, but said a minority ignored the rules.
One Anglican vicar in the Yorkshire Dales said last weekend was the busiest he had seen it in seven years.
The Rev Steve Dawson said visitors to Stainforth Foss, a waterfall near Settle, left more than 50 bags of litter for volunteers to collect.
“Most of those I spoke to were groups of friendly youths, if slightly merry, and families from Burnley, Keighley and Preston,” he said.
“Only a few intended to bag up their litter and take it home.”
Mrs Mulligan said the police would continue to enforce the rules where needed.
“What we have seen over the past few weeks has been alarming and unfair,” she said.
“Alarming because we should still be doing all we can to control coronavirus and unfair because people are treating North Yorkshire as a playground and not the home it is for those of us who live here.
“We have seen huge challenges – from rubbish strewn across beauty spots, to drivers speeding through our rural communities, visitors blocking roads by parking inconsiderately and campers lighting fires and thinking the rules don’t apply to them.”