Green Sefton outdoor spaces update

Green Sefton Service Manager, Mark Shaw, has provided this update regarding the next stage in the government’s roadmap of the lifting of restrictions and how it will affect people living in Sefton.

You will be aware that from Monday, March 29, we will be entering the next phase in the gradual relaxation of National Lockdown restrictions. Some restrictions to limit the risk of infection from Covid-19 are therefore to be lifted as part of stage 1 of the government’s roadmap.

Once again this has some impact on the services provided by Green Sefton and I wanted to highlight the changes as it affects our visitors, volunteers and staff.

Visiting Parks, Coast and other Greenspaces

Overall, our sites remain freely open and accessible for exercise. You can go outside for recreation and exercise in a local public outdoor place:

  • adhering to the rule of 6 or 2 households
  • organised outdoor sport is allowed

The government messaging is changing from ‘say at home’ to ‘stay local’, and so our communications will reflect this accordingly, including discouraging visitors from travelling from afar to visit our sites.

However, anticipating that good weather will attract visitors anyway, we are putting into place actions similar to last year as part of our Visitor Action Plan, including traffic signage, additional cleansing and staffing, temporary toilets on the coast etc.

Volunteering in Parks, Coast and Greenspaces

Volunteer group activities can restart again in line with the above. Gatherings of more than six people are not permitted unless they are from two households only. Activities which are likely to be appropriate include:

  • Litter picking
  • Gardening activities
  • Species and habitat surveying and management activities

However, to ensure that transmission of Covid-19 remains minimal, we would refer groups to previous Covid-19 risk assessments:

  • sharing of tools and equipment is discouraged
  • social distancing must still be observed
  • avoid busy areas and times
  • short sessions
  • stay local

Please liaise with the Community Engagement Team when developing your activities, but do note there may be delays in responses and/ or support while we deal with the many issues facing us right now.

Outdoor Facilities that will re-open

  • Golf Courses – Bootle and Southport courses will reopen for up to 4-ball golf booked in advance via the on site shops.
  • Outdoor Gyms – All outdoor gyms will re-open and will be re-commissioned over the coming days.
  • Tennis Courts / Basketball Courts – these areas are now open and court time for tennis can be booked online
  • Grassroots Sport – including football, the use of playing pitches has also now restarted. We have communicated separately to leagues and clubs in more detail but:
    1. We ask that no spectators accompany players to adult fixtures
    2. We ask that only 1 parent or carer, from the same household/support bubble as the child, attends at junior fixtures.
    3. Spectators to junior fixtures must socially distance, we advise face coverings are worn and that a distance of 2m is made from the touchline.
    4. People should seek to attend at fixtures within 15 minutes of kick off – not sooner, please do not arrive too early, as your attendance may conflict with other teams seeking to leave the venue and would increase the chances of contact with others/ infection.
    5. All visitors, including spectators are asked to register your attendance using the QR codes on display at the entrance to changing rooms. These remain open only for officials and toilets.

Park Buildings and Pavilions

These continue to remain closed at this stage. 

Allotments

Our allotment sites remain open to tenants who must limit their activity only to their own plots and adhere to rules on the control of Covid-19 which are displayed at entrance gates including the rule of 6 mentioned earlier. Viewings for new plot holders will begin from 1st April. 

More Information

More information on Coronavirus can be found on the Sefton Council main website. 

We all appreciate the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time outdoors (especially right now), but our resources will be stretched again during these challenging times, so if you do visit our sites please take extra effort to care for our environment by either taking litter home or using the bins provided.

If you have further queries, please contact us via email at greensefton@sefton.gov.uk

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