A new guide to help park managers and local authorities in England safely reopen urban and country parks, gardens and wider green spaces has been launched.
Produced with key input from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Local Government Association, National Trust, APSE, the Midlands Parks Forum and parks practitioners, the new guide brings together the latest advice available to help managers of green spaces safely reopen them to the public as lockdown eases.
Drew Bennellick, head of land and nature policy at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, says: “Many gardens are reopening this week, and many parks have stayed partially open as vital places to take exercise and get fresh air close to home during lockdown. However, as the day-to-day situation is changing so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up with official guidance and best practice on reopening safely. This guide brings it all together in one place.”
Managers of these spaces have to consider a wide range of challenges, including reopening facilities such as children’s play areas, multi-use games areas, public toilets, cafes and tennis courts and car parks.
The new guide includes the latest guidance on aspects such as managing site infrastructure, social distancing and visitor numbers, to help park managers ensure that their teams, volunteers and visitors are safe and that government standards and customer expectations are met.
Although the situation in England is different from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it is hoped that the experiences of English local authority parks managers, where lockdown has been released first, will help their colleagues in the future.