People are being urged not to horse ride, mountain bike or hill walk in the countryside to avoid putting extra pressure on the emergency services.

Scottish Land & Estates, the rural business organisation, has issued the plea after its members have reported having to help people who are injured, often in remote areas, at a time when people should be social distancing.

Sarah-Jane Laing, Chief Executive of Scottish Land & Estates said:Our members’ land enables locals and visitors to enjoy Scotland’s beautiful countryside all year round – but we are pleading with people to take a break from their usual activities during the Covid-19 pandemic. This will allow our vital emergency services to keep their resource where it’s needed most.

“Even the most experienced and skilled mountain bikers, horse riders and hill walkers run the risk of being injured or lost. Usually they could easily call on the emergency services but currently they are under enormous pressure.

"That’s why we are asking the public to take a break from their activities at the moment. Scotland’s hills, forests and fields will still be there when we come out of this the other side.”