Safe Use of Parks and Open Spaces – Covid-19 Advice and Restrictions

Safe Use of Parks and Open Spaces – Covid-19 – Statement from Harrow Parks Forum – 28th March 2020:

“It is very important for people’s mental and physical well-being that they should be able to get out and exercise if they possibly can,”

“Many, many people do not have access to private green space where they can do that.”

“That’s why parks and open spaces are so crucial.”

Boris Johnson

We are so lucky that at this stage most of our parks remain open while the parks in many European cities are closed, but if we want to keep them open, we have to follow the relevant rules. You’ve probably seen this link a hundred times – I make no apologies for posting it again.

On the day I write this enclosed sports courts in Harrow parks are being secured with chains and padlocks to prevent entry.

In the short term it is less easy to secure many childrens’ play areas – it’s easy to lift a child over a low fence into a playground….
But why would you?

The hazard tape round outdoor gyms is no barrier and it’s easy to tear off and use the equipment….
But why would you?

Besides the issue of not meeting in groups, laboratory tests show that the corona virus can last for several hours, even days, on hard surfaces. Outside laboratory conditions, outside in a park, that time is much shorter, but still potentially measured in hours….
Why would you take this risk?

Can I also ask, on behalf of all the Friends Groups, that you take all your own litter home with you. Harrow Council has asked that we suspend all litter picks, again to reduce the risk of infection and, as council staff are redeployed to other vital operations, the emptying of bins and collection of rubbish from parks will become less frequent.

Cutting of grass within the parks will also be reduced, maybe to zero – they will start to look a bit unkempt, but the benefit to the plants and animals will be incredible. Coupled with improvement in air quality due to reduced traffic, your walk in the park will turn into a mini safari – take pictures of what you discover and post them here – we’ve got a team of experts who can identify them for you.

We will be able to continue to use and enjoy this valuable resource as long as we stick by the rules – the probability is that further action will be taken if we do not. And that would be so sad.

Stay Safe

Ian Pearse
The Secretary   
Harrow Parks Forum