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Published May 20th 2020
Get out and explore country parks after lockdown eased
With the welcome easing of UK lockdown restrictions, one of the largest rural counties in England has begun to gradually reopen the car parks of its various country parks in order to welcome visitors back to its green pastures. Staffordshire County Council has started a phased reopening of its prized country parks this month following the Government's updated guidance on exercising and staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic. The move began with the reopening of a several public car parks serving the popular Cannock Chase beauty spot, together with parking facilities at Staffordshire County Council's country parks at Chasewater, Apedale, Greenway Bank and Deep Hayes. Most of the remaining car parks have now subsequently opened, however facilities on the parks will remain closed, including visitor centres, toilets, cafes, play areas and barbecue facilities.
Car parks at picturesque Cannock Chase reopen after lockdown. By Bs0u10e01 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11777053
Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "Now that the Government's guidance about exercise and travel has been updated we are keen to help people visit our country parks and enjoy our beautiful countryside, but they should still follow the rules regarding social distancing and staying alert to the risk of passing the virus on. It will be a phased reopening of the car parks and people can check the latest details on our social media accounts or via the county council's website. Whether this increased access to our country parks lasts is up to the people who go there. If we find people congregating in car parks and ignoring social distancing we may have to close them again to ensure public safety. So many people have sacrificed - and are still sacrificing - so much for the benefit of the rest of us that we must do all we can to keep Covid-19 under control and avoid the risk of infections rising once more."
Visitors are asked to keep dogs on leads to help observe social distancing rules and not to have barbecues, light fires, or dispose of cigarettes carelessly as there remains a strong risk to people, property, and wildlife from fire.