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Social distancing and safety in parks and green spaces

Car parks to close in local green spaces

Car parks across local green spaces and parks in Ealing will be closed to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and ensure government rules on social distancing are followed.

The decision to close car parks has been made so residents only visit areas local to them in line with the government’s rules and avoid travelling longer distances by car.

From Thursday 9 April 2020, car parks at the following locations are closed until further notice:

  • Gunnersbury Park
  • Northala Fields
  • Horsenden Hill
  • Pitshanger Park
  • Brent Lodge Park
  • Ealing Central Sports Ground
  • Berkeley Fields (Horsenden Lane)
  • Rectory Park

Warm weather and spring conditions are likely to continue in the coming days and weeks and residents are being urged to avoid parks, green spaces and nature reserves to help maintain social distancing and curb the spread of Covid-19.

The council will be taking further steps over the bank holiday weekend to ensure that local people are acting responsibly, following the rules and maintaining social distancing at all times.

If anyone does decide to use a local parks for daily exercise they must ensure they stick to the government’s social distancing advice. They must not gather in groups, play team sports, sunbathe or have picnics or BBQs. Further signage reminding local people of the rules is being introuded.

There will be an increase in patrols of the borough’s 146 parks and open spaces by Parkguard and Kingdom officers, and park rangers. Six parking attendants will also be brought in over the Easter bank holiday to support this. These patrols will be in place to offer guidance and advice about the government’s rules, with enforcement the responsibility of the police.

Playgrounds, outdoor gyms, tennis courts, skate parks, as well as other park facilities in the borough have been closed to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Additional fencing around such equipment is set to be installed in some locations.

Local people are also reminded that they should keep dogs on leads at all times in accordance with the Mayor of London’s rules on stopping the spread of Covid-19.

Julian Bell, Leader of the council said: “We are taking further steps to ensure that the government’s rules on social distancing are upheld across the borough and this includes closing car parks serving parks and green spaces in the borough.

“It is vitally important that everyone follows these rules and ensure they do their part to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“It may seem tempting to head to your local park in the coming days, but I would ask you to think and not do that unless you really, really need to.

“Ealing has already got one of the highest infection rates for COVID-19. We need to protect our NHS so that it can look after the most vulnerable.

“I would ask you to use your own gardens if you have them and try to stay at home but, if you feel you need to go out, then follow the social distancing guidelines, act responsibly and don’t do anything that would cause this virus to spread.

“I know that for some the borough’s parks are the only ‘gardens’ they have and I want them to be able to use these spaces safely.  And I would like to thank those that have been observing the social distancing rules. But the behaviour of some park users, means we are having to close the car parks that serve parks and open spaces in the borough.

“Short-term sacrifices will result in long term gains – so please, observe social distancing, use our open spaces wisely, and let’s stay safe, stay home and save lives.”

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