How to enjoy the South Downs National Park safely this Bank Holiday and half term

Restraint, responsibility and respect.

Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 4:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 4:08 pm
With more than3,300km of rights of way in the South Downs National Park, there is plenty of space for people to enjoy getting outside while also social distancing

Those are the three things visitors to the South Downs National Park are being asked to observe this Bank Holiday weekend and half-term

With its 'wide open spaces, clean fresh air and wonderful vistas', the National Park said it has been a place to recharge the batteries for people of all ages over the past week.

During the sunny Bank Holiday and half-term holiday on its way, the National Park Authority is asking people to protect themselves, their families and local communities by avoiding busy hotspots, exploring quieter places, coming by bike or walking, only parking in car parks and observing the three Rs.

Chief Executive Trevor Beattiesaid the South Downs National Park is a 'wonderful breathing space' that is needed by people, 'perhaps now more than ever before'

Chief Executive Trevor Beattie said: “The South Downs National Park is a wonderful breathing space that is needed by people, perhaps now more than ever before.

“In order for everyone to be able to enjoy the National Park safely, we would urge people to avoid popular visitor spots and be mindful of our dedicated farmers who have been keeping food supplies going during the pandemic.

“With a sunny week ahead, many families will be seeking to head to busy coastal spots and given the crowds in recent days, we would urge people to stay safe by exploring quieter areas of the National Park where they can safely socially distance. With over 3,330km of rights of way, there is plenty of space to get out safely while observing the three Rs.”

With more than 3,300km of rights of way in the South Downs National Park, there is plenty of space for people to enjoy getting outside while also social distancing.

Visitors are being asked to observe:

— Restraint in the distance travelled. The government advice is still to stay at home as much as possible.

— Responsibility for not just your own health but the health of those around you by observing two metre social distancing at all times from those who are not members of your own household. If you arrive at a site that is already busy, please find an alternative.

— Respect for the communities visited and the wildlife of the National Park, particularly by avoiding visitor hotspots, respecting farmers’ land by sticking to the path, taking litter home and keeping dogs on the lead.

A spokesperson said: "We are also urging people to journey, wherever possible, by foot or bicycle. If car parks are busy, please don’t park on the verges or block access roads. Please don’t bring barbecues as the land is tinder dry and there is a fire risk."

For more information on the discovery map on the South Downs National Park’s website, visit https://maps.southdowns.gov.uk/For more walking and cycling routes, visit the View Ranger App or its website: https://my.viewranger.com/places/gb/south-downs-walksThe spokesperson added: "The OS Maps app and website has also produced a helpful resource for people to discover green spaces close to where they live. Visit https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/greenspaces"Remember that although our partners are working hard to reopen the car parks and toilets they manage, many are still closed while they work out how to ensure social distancing to keep their visitors safe.

"Most businesses also remain closed so please check the website of the organisation managing the car park or facility that you are intending to visit.

"Please note the National Park Authority does not own or manage any toilet facilities or car parks."

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Stay safe, and best wishes.