CUMBRIA County Council has issued guidance on using public rights of way during the Coronavirus contagion.

A council spokesman said that there are no plans to close the paths but walkers need to be "sensible, courteous and considerate" when using them.

He added: "Public rights of way provide an opportunity for people to take exercise in their local area and get some fresh air in these difficult times.

"However people are advised to stay local and not travel unnecessarily, and should not congregate on public rights of way.

"If there is a particular problem with large numbers of people congregating on a footpath then the police should be informed, they have powers to disperse such groups."

The council said people should continue to follow the guidance on social distancing by keeping at least two metres apart and try, if possible, try to avoid using paths that may go through a farmsteads or other rural areas where social distancing may be difficult.

It's also asked for walkers to follow the Countryside Code, leave gates as they find them and keep dogs under close control at all times.

Dogs should be on a lead near livestock and away from other people and pooches.

When using gates and stiles walkers should be mindful that other people pass through these and that landowners may need to use them multiple times a day.

Therefore they should wash their hands and or sanitise as soon as possible after touching shared surfaces

Also people should keep to the definitive line of the path or use an alternative route if provided by the landowner.