POPULAR walks and attractions in the  Brecon Beacons National Park have been closed – but rights of way in other parts of Powys remain open.

The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) closed 34 areas on Wednesday, March 25 including Pen y Fan, Llangorse lake and Craig y Nos Country Park.

All Natural Resources Wales (NRW), BBNPA and National Trust car parks in the national park have now been locked.

But Powys County Council's portfolio holder for finance, countryside and transport, Cllr Aled Davies, said:  “We have decided not to close any of the public paths or access land outside the National Park at the moment.

“We think that with respect, good hygiene and care to observe social distancing, there should be no need to do that.

“But, please use your local rights of way, driving to a different location to walk or cycle is not an essential journey.”

BBNPA chief executive, Julian Atkins, said: “Locations which attract people to gather or come into contact with each other now pose a risk to our health.

“We have not taken this decision lightly but these closures are important if we are to play our part in slowing the spread of the virus and they must be respected.

“Many elderly people live in our National Park and access to hospitals and NHS services can be more difficult for some, please help everyone stay safe.”

People who are driving out into the countryside for their one allowed form of exercise which could include dog walking are being encouraged to do so in their own locality.

The council's corporate director for economy and the environment, Nigel Brinn, added: “It’s not an essential journey to use your car to take exercise!

“Despite all the warnings there are still people ignoring this in the south of the county.

“All key public sector partners are working together to stop this happening. ”

This week the UK’s four governments announced stringent curbs on life, in a bid to contain coronavirus.

In Wales, people who breach stringent new rules on life brought in to tackle the coronavirus outbreak will be fined £30 for a first offence which doubles to £60 if not paid in 14 days.

Fines rise to £120 for second and further offences and individuals ignoring the rules risk arrest.