Coronavirus: Every country park in Leicestershire has now been shut
The council has acted amid reports that people were continuing to gather and get together in public places
Every country park in Leicestershire has now been shut.
Leicestershire County Council announced today (Sunday March 22) that the popular parks were closing immediately.
The drastic measure is the latest in a local and nationwide clampdown aiming at curbing and defeating the coronavirus outbreak – even in the Great Outdoors.
The council has acted amid reports that people were continuing to gather and get together in public places.
The local authority said it had intended to keep its parks accessible to the general public as huge brilliant open spaces to exercise.
But fears are now growing that too many people were visiting as Leicestershire was bathed in dazzling spring sunshine on Mothering Sunday.
Parks are being sealed off after the council shut key indoor facilities like libraries and museums as well as sites such as Beaumanor Hall.
Events, activities, adult learning classes and clubs due to take place in all libraries have also been cancelled.
Cllr Nick Rushton, the county council leader, has repeated his call for residents to follow the latest health advice and stay safe.
"Our focus is keeping critical services running, particularly those supporting vulnerable people.
"It's with regret that we've taken the tough decision to close our parks,” said Cllr Rushton.
“I had wanted to support the health and wellbeing of our residents during these unprecedented times. But people's safety is my priority.
"Put simply, if there are too many people in the parks, it's impossible to keep to the government's social distancing advice.
“As chairman of Bradgate Park Trust, I have also been in contact with the city mayor and we have agreed to close Bradgate Park because of the same reasons.”
To check out the latest council updates on coronavirus, visit: https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/popular-now/coronavirus-council-updatesThe list of county closures already announced includes:
All libraries (most Community Managed Libraries will also close, please check their websites for further details)
Century Theatre at Coalville
Beacon Café and Park
Beaumanor Hall catered events
1485 Tithe Barn at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
The 1620s house at Donington-le-Heath
Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland
Recycling and Household Waste Sites at Loughborough, Bottesford, Somerby, Lutterworth and Shepshed