Derby

Coronavirus: Attacked Edale farmer says advice is 'confusing'

Edale Image copyright Supplied
Image caption The farmer says he had never before seen the volume of people crossing his land

A farmer who was attacked by a walker has said the government's advice on exercise is "confusing".

The 41-year-old from Edale, Derbyshire, who does not want to be named, said too many people were travelling from cities to walk in the national park.

The man was "kicked" and "punched 15 times" during the attack on Sunday after telling a walker to go home.

Derbyshire Police said it was investigating a report of an assault. The offender was white, aged about 40.

Thousands of visitors

The farmer, who has lived in the Peak District all his life, told the BBC he had "never" before seen the volume of visitors that descended last weekend, after the government brought in new measures to halt the spread of coronavirus.

He said he believed more than 5,000 visitors had crossed his land on Saturday and even more on Sunday.

"It was unbelievable," he said. "It wasn't the usual crowd.

"The Peak District is normally full of proper hikers but there were an awful lot of people who, I guess, didn't have a football match or shopping centre to go to. It was like everyone was on summer holidays."

Image copyright Supplied
Image caption The farmer was feeding his sheep when the attack happened

He said he was attacked by a man, who was with a female companion, after he went out to feed his sheep on Sunday morning.

"I said to them, 'There have been far too many people here over the weekend'. The gentleman lost the plot," he said.

"He was about two inches from the end of my nose, screaming, 'Do you [swearword] want some?' And then he hit me."

"It's frightening. I didn't expect that ever to happen to me."

A report of the attack was shared on Facebook.

The man said things had quietened since the weekend but called on the government to be clear about how far people should be travelling to take exercise.

"We've been told to go and do a bit of exercise. It doesn't say if you can get into your car. You can't always blame people for what they're doing if the instruction isn't clear enough."

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