The Parks Trust has released a statement with a guide to staying safe in parks in Milton Keynes.

The guide has been re-released ahead of an expected weekend heatwave and the forthcoming Easter Bank Holidays.

In their statement, the Parks Trust looked to remind potential visitors of the importance of sticking to government guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. This includes the statement of parks being used just once a day and that people should only use parks local to them.

The Trust said “The Parks Trust looks after 6,000 acres of parkland across Milton Keynes, and in this unsettling time we know how important access to open space is for well-being and physical exercise, but we must remind you of the importance of adhering to governmental guidelines.

“Our parks should only be used for exercise, just once a day. This can be for a walk, run or cycle. You shouldn’t be travelling to use the park but instead use your local park if you choose to go out for exercise. You can find your local park on our website theparkstrust.com/your-parks/

“As instructed by the government all our play areas and outdoor gym equipment are now out of bounds and should not be used under any circumstances. The virus can live on surfaces so by using this equipment you’re putting yourselves and others at risk.

“We are unable to lock play areas as many of our sites are unfenced, we have displayed signage where possible to advise of this legalisation. All fitness and personal training activity in our parkland has also been suspended until further notice.

“When using our parks please also observe social distancing measures. You should always stay 2 metres away from other park users. Most of our paths within the parks are between 1.8 metres and 2 metres wide, so should you come across a fellow park user one of you should use the path, the other the grass.

“If you feel unwell, we ask that you please do not visit any of our parks and follow the advice to self-isolate.”

The Parks Trust has also confirmed some sites have been closed, while events and activities for April have been cancelled and volunteer activity has been suspended.

“Furthermore, we have cancelled all of our events and activities up until the end of April for both The Parks Trust and Willen Lake and suspended all volunteer activity. We have also closed the following areas; Linford Lakes Nature Reserve, Howe Park Wood Study Centre, Toilet facilities, Bird Hides and our offices.

“We will continue to follow latest government advice and will update our statements and website as soon as we know more.  In the meantime, please keep safe and stay home.”