East Devon to reopen remaining gardens in line with new Government measures on exercise during the pandemic

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 10:18pm

The seven remaining East Devon District Council gardens which have been closed since the coronavirus lockdown will reopen from tomorrow. (Wednesday May 13)

The decision has been reviewed following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday where new measures for exercise were introduced. Although the gardens will reopen, the council is reiterating that the strict social distancing measures must be followed by everyone.

Last month, the council reopened the majority of the district’s large or easy to access park sites after they were closed due to the lockdown measures announced in March. A number of parks remained closed as they were quite small, enclosed and with narrow access ways, poor sight lines or restricted access points.

After an assessment of the sites by the council, the following gardens will reopen from tomorrow. They are:

  • Manor Gardens, Exmouth
  • Gunfield Gardens – Exmouth
  • Queens Drive Space – Exmouth
  • The Glen – Honiton
  • Connaught Gardens – Sidmouth
  • Blackmore Gardens – Sidmouth
  • Seafield Gardens – Seaton

Jacob's Ladder in Sidmouth will remain closed, as will all playparks, skate parks and outdoor gyms.

East Devon’s beaches and nature reserves have remained open throughout the lockdown.

The council is working through the newly released COVID-19 secure guidance from the government which was received late on Monday (May 11) and is using this information to review the opening of a limited number of public toilets. This decision will be made soon.

Councillor Geoff Jung, East Devon’s Portfolio for the Environment, said:

“We have carried out rigorous assessments of the gardens and based on the latest Government announcements we believe we can safely re-open them.

 “Social distancing signs will be in place and we will remind the public to observe these measures. We thank everyone for complying with the social distance measures so far and ask them to please carry on behaving sensibly.”

Further guidance on what people should do when accessing East Devon’s parks can be found at: https://eastdevon.gov.uk/parks-gardens-and-recreation/parks-and-gardens/coronavirus-information/

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