An MP has asked if public footpaths can be closed to discourage people from visiting the Lake District.

Large numbers of people were spotted in the area last weekend, despite government advice to stay at home.

Tim Farron, who represents Westmorland and Lonsdale for the Liberal Democrats, says he has asked the Lake District National Park Authority if it will consider giving land-owners the right to close off some footpaths.

He wants people to heed the warning to protect public safety.

The authority has joined a number of organisations to remind people to stay at home and avoid walking through farm yards and near people’s houses.

"One farmer from Borrowdale said they usually love saying hello to people when they come through the yard but at the moment they are having to keep children inside the house in order to maintain our social distancing and keep their family safe."

Andrea Meanwell, Farming Officer for the Lake District National Park Authority

"It’s a busy, stressful time on the farm with lambing and calving and farmers don’t need the additional worry of contamination to gates and property. Please use your discretion and avoid farmyards and rural homes when exercising."

Maria Benjamin, Nibthwaite Grange Farm

The National Park has produced easily downloadable signs for farmers and other local residents to print at home to remind people to be cautious during the Coronavirus outbreak.

They remind people to keep a safe distance from others, to sanitise hands before and after touching shared surfaces such as gates and stiles and where appropriate, advise on alternative routes to minimise contact.