Coronavirus: Edale farmer attacked after telling walker to go home

Image source, Facebook
Image caption,
Sophie Judge said many people had been visiting Peak District villages

A farmer was left "shaken and bruised" when he was attacked by a Peak District walker after asking him to "go home".

Sophie Judge, who knows the Edale sheep farmer, shared on Facebook that he "pleaded" with the man to leave the area over fears of the spread of coronavirus by hundreds of tourists.

However, he said he was then "punched 15 times" and "kicked in the ribs" during the attack on Sunday morning.

Derbyshire Police said it was investigating a report of an assault.

The message said: "I am a farmer in Edale I went out at 9 am to feed my sheep on the side of the footpath, I was spraying the gate handles with disinfectant due to the hundreds of people that went through them yesterday.

"I got a very funny look off a man walking and said to him 'there are too many people, here will you please just go home'.

"I have just had to phone the police as my thanks was to be punched about 15 times then kicked in the ribs as I hit the floor."

Image source, Derbyshire Police
Image caption,
People were still visiting areas like Monsal Dale yesterday, despite warnings over non-essential travel

Ms Judge said "hordes" of people have been visiting where she lives in the Peak District over the past few days.

"[Tourists] are leaving a germ footprint," she said.

"It's turning into a war and it shouldn't take a farmer to get beaten up for things to change."

A police spokesperson said: "The victim was left shaken and bruised, but did not suffer any serious, life-threatening or life-altering injuries.

"The offender was white, aged about 40, with fair hair and glasses. He wore standard walking gear, a hat and a snood."

All National Park Authority offices, ranger hubs and visitor facilities, including car parks, closed on Tuesday.

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