Posted: Wed 21st Oct 2020

Council call to respect ‘natural environment’ during ‘fire break’ lockdown following number of incidents in Wepre Park

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 21st, 2020

Flintshire council has called on people to respect ‘our natural environment’ during the upcoming 17-day’ fire break’ lockdown which begins on Friday.

The safety call comes after a number of incidents in Wepre Park over the summer which saw mountain rescue teams called out to assist injured visitors.

Wales will enter a “short, sharp fire break” at the end of this week to help regain control of coronavirus, First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Monday.

The fortnight-long action is needed to “save lives and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.” He said.

The fire-break will start at 6pm on Friday 23 October and end on Monday 9 November.

It will apply to everyone living in Wales and will replace the local restrictions which are currently in force in Flintshire.

Parks and play areas will remain open during the fire break period but “we must not travel by car to visit them” the council has said.

The Welsh government states: “Exercise should be undertaken locally – from home or as close as possible to the home.

“In general this should not involve people driving to a location away from home for this purpose.”

“No journeys of any significant distance should be taken, for example, just in order to exercise in the countryside or at beauty spots.”

“People with specific health or mobility issues may, however, need to travel from their home in order to be able to exercise.

“For example, some wheelchair users may not be able to start to exercise immediately outside their homes for practical access reasons, and may need to drive to a suitable flat location, such as a park, for this purpose.”

As lockdown restrictions were eased in the summer Wepre Park experienced an unprecedented number of visitors, one Ranger told Deeside.com it had been the busiest they had ever seen.

It was also an unprecedented period for The North East Wales Search and Rescue (NEWSAR) team who were called out to the park four times over the summer to assist with injured visitors.

A Flintshire council spokesperson said: “We would like to remind everyone to stay safe while out and about. ”

“After a number of incidents and injuries this summer, particularly at Wepre Park, where emergency services had to be called, please be  prepared and wear the correct equipment.”

“This half term, enjoy and respect our natural environment, but be responsible and look after you and yours by.”

The council has issued the following guidance:

  • Being prepared and planning ahead
  • Wearing footwear suitable for the terrain
  • Dressing for the weather
  • Checking where you are going is open and accessible
  • Remembering to physically or socially distance
  • Taking your litter home
  • Being a responsible dog owner
  • Following the countryside code

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:

“We want local residents to continue to enjoy our local green spaces, which are a delight as the seasons change, safely.”

“Please help everyone by cooperating, follow the rules and regulations and stay safe, stay local.”

Frequently Asked Questions are on the Welsh Government website as a guide to what you can and cannot do during this period gov.wales/coronavirus-circuit-break-frequently-asked-questions.

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