When restrictions on outdoor activities were reduced last week, Hampshire’s country parks responded immediately with a safe, managed re-opening of car parks and toilets.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage at Hampshire County Council, said: “With both physical exercise and mental wellbeing so important for everyone, we want Hampshire residents to be able to enjoy the beautiful countryside on their doorstep. That’s why Hampshire County Council re-opened car parks and toilet facilities at its country park locations last week, following a robust risk assessment process. All other catering and visitor services facilities currently remain closed.
“Our country park car parks operated well last week-end, and all within the capacity limit imposed through the risk assessment, which we are able implement through an ANPR system. By far the majority of people behaved both sensibly and in a good humoured fashion, they were pleased to be able to visit locally, and appreciated the precautions being taken by our staff and the measures in place which included clear signs and advance communications.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation as the weather warms up, and further restrictions are eased nationally. A large proportion of trips to Hampshire County Council’s country parks as well as other venues in Hampshire, are made by local Hampshire residents and, at the moment, we can say that visitors seem happy to follow the guidance, are acting responsibly for their safety and those of others, and we are happy to welcome them back.”
All country parks (excluding Staunton Farm and Manor Farm attractions) are operating normal opening hours and normal parking rates.
Councillor Woodward added: “Visitor numbers at the parks tend to peak between 11am and 2pm, so if you can visit outside these hours, it will help you to keep a safe distance from others.”
Toilets are open but cafés, shops, visitor centres and play areas remain closed until further notice and in line with current government guidance.
Key steps everyone should keep taking to minimise the spread of Coronavirus:
- Wash your hands often using soap and water, and dry them thoroughly
- Use a tissue when coughing
- Avoid touching your face
Calshot Activities Centre is open for parking, and the slipway is available for recreational boating.