Buckinghamshire’s three main country parks have seen a surge in usage since they reopened to the public, after restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic were relaxed by the government.
However, with further relaxations coming into effect this week, the council is keen to remind visitors to Black Park, Langley Park and Denham Country Park, to act responsibly while they enjoy the beautiful landscape and surroundings these areas offer.
The council says that while it’s great to see people out enjoying the countryside, there have been a number of incidents of littering, lack of social distancing between different groups and poor parking on nearby local roads.
Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, Clive Harriss said that everything possible was being done to ensure the parks were clean and safe for everyone to enjoy, but stressed the importance of visitors playing their part too.
“It’s been great to see people back in our country parks and enjoying the outdoors. Even though not all of the parks’ facilities are open, they are still proving to be a popular ‘go-to’ place for both existing visitors but also new customers as well.
“While the majority of visitors are extremely considerate, we have had a few safety related instances and cases where unsightly litter has been left.
“In particular, could I ask visitors to take all their litter home or use the bins provided; to use the designated car parks rather than clogging up local lanes and also to respect social distancing when using narrower paths and routes in the parks.”
The council says that when walking or cycling, groups should ideally be in single file to create as much space as possible for people to pass each other. Also, those walking their dogs should keep them under control at all times, ideally on a lead.
Clive added; “Just following a few simple rules will mean everyone can enjoy their visit all the more. Can I also pass on my thanks to park staff, regular visitors and local residents who I know have been helping to clear up other people’s litter to keep the parks looking their best and to prevent any danger to wildlife.”
“One picture we have been sent clearly shows the danger to animals. This example was on agricultural land just outside one of our parks but it really brings home how careful people must be with disposing of their litter.”
The council also says that although some toilet facilities are available at Black Park and Langley Park, capacity is severely limited, so recommends people consider this when planning their visit. At present government guidance is to use public toilet facilities only where absolutely necessary so people may want to think about visiting for a shorter time that usual.
Park staff are hoping to install additional hand washing facilities shortly, however the message is to take personal responsibility and bring hand sanitiser with you rather than using on-site facilities.
For all the latest information about visiting Country Parks, please visit www.countryparks.buckscc.gov.uk