COVID-19: Public green space and rights of way guidance



Last up dated: 25 March 2020, 5:00pm


This guide provides basic information about the use of City of Bradford MDC public green spaces during the COVID-19 outbreak and measures taken to prevent the spread of infection.


Public Green Space includes:

· Parks and Green Spaces

· Recreation Grounds and Sports Pitches

· Play Areas (MUGAs, Skate Parks, Outdoor Gyms)

· Woodlands

· Moorlands

· Public Rights of Way

· Allotments


Play Areas, MUGAs, Skate Parks, Outdoor Gyms are Closed


We are following Government advice and have closed play areas, Multi-Use Games Areas, Skate Parks, Outdoor Gyms (fitness equipment) to help prevent the transmission of the coronavirus. The virus can remain on hard surfaces for several days and we are unable to disinfect equipment.


Green Spaces are Open for Daily Exercise


Parks, woodlands, moorlands, public rights of way and other public green spaces remain open for individuals and households to take daily exercise or walk a dog. Anyone venturing out should follow government advice:


· Stay at Home if you suspect that you have COVID19 or may have been in contact with someone who has.

· Use local green spaces do not travel to beauty spots, attractions, rights of way.

· Do not gather in groups, more than two (2) unless members of your household.

· Keep your distance from other people – minimum of two metres (2m).

· Any cough: Catch it in a tissue, dispose of the tissue in a bin (preferably at home).

· Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

Households and Gatherings in Public Green Space


People living together in the same house (household) may take daily exercise together but should remain mindful of numbers and at all times make sure you can keep your distance - two metres (2m+) – from other park users. Where possible households should stagger visits to the park.


You should not gather in groups of more than 2 people who are not from the same household. Police and wardens will ask groups and gathering of more than 2 people to disburse and observe social distancing rules.


Dog Walking


There is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus is transmitted from dogs to people but dog owners and walkers should remain mindful of their obligations.


· Where Dog Control Orders are in place these must be followed at all times.

· Dog owners have a duty in public green spaces and elsewhere to ensure there dog is under close control at all times, please exercise your dog on a lead in busy areas.

· Keep dogs on leads in bird nesting areas.


Outdoor Sports and Events Cancelled


Outdoor sports governing bodies have taken independent steps to postpone and suspend sporting competitions, leagues, fixtures, training and sporting events on Council land. Clubs should now suspend all social/group contact and gatherings, access to pavilions and changing rooms.


The Council has cancelled planned events, such as, fun fairs and formal activities in its parks and green spaces. We are no longer giving permission for organised events and activities in public open spaces and are working with event organisers on postponing or cancel events already agreed.


Cafes and Ice Cream Sellers


Cafes and Ice cream sellers will remain open but operation is subject to review. Cafes should only be offering a takeaway service. Clear measures to ensure social distancing and hygiene should be in place and observed.


Public Conveniences


Where there are public toilets in parks and green spaces these remain open but you are advised to bring toilet tissue, gel or soap as these cannot be guaranteed.


Allotments


Allotments are not open to the public but are often regarded as green space. These remain available to allotment holders as long as the government’s advice on social distancing, not gathering and good hygiene are practiced.


Public Right of Way network


Public Rights of Way and permissive paths on Bradford Council land (footpaths and bridleways) remain open for daily exercise. Many footpaths and bridleways are narrow and restricted, users are asked to share with care and follow advice, please ensure that you:


· Stay at Home if you suspect that you have COVID19 or may have been in contact with someone who has.

· Act responsibly and limit the distance you go from your home.

· Only walk with other members of your household.

· Do not walk in groups of more than 2 people.

· Keep your distance – 2m+.

· Keep to designated paths at all times.

· Avoid contact with occupiers of premises and land.

· Avoid routes where you will need to touch gates or stiles as these are not disinfected and it is possible for coronavirus to remain for several days.

· Wash your hands thoroughly in accordance with government guidance on return to your home.

Remember that the advice is to STAY AT HOME exercise in your local green spaces and rights of way.


Car Parking Charges


Two Bradford Council sites, St Ives and Ilkley Lido were scheduled to begin charging for car parking during 2020. It has been decided that charging will be postponed for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.


Inspection and Maintenance


During the current COVID19 Emergency the Council’s is providing a reduced service with reduced numbers of green space maintenance staff. Maintenance regimes have been suspended or reduced


· Litter bins in parks and on streets will be emptied but on a reduced cycle, please help by taking litter home.

· Grass cutting in parks and highways will be less frequent.

· Play equipment etc is not currently inspected or maintained and should not be used.

· Only reports of dangerous or fallen trees will be inspected and made safe.

· Public Rights of Way maintenance has been reduced.


Contact number 01274 431000


Friends Groups


Friends Groups are currently being advised to stay in contact with one another but follow the government guidance on gatherings and social distancing and should suspend Practical Tasks Groups, working parties, guided walks and events until the restrictions are lifted.


Sign up to regular emailed Coronavirus updates from Bradford Council on the website: www.bradford.gov.uk/health/health-advice-and-support/coronavirus-covid-19-advice/

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