Council bosses are asking people to continue to “use common sense” as temperatures increase across Lichfield and Burntwood.

Staffordshire County Council said it expected a combination of warm weather and an easing of coronavirus lockdown measures to lead to an increase in people visiting open spaces.

But those heading for country parks such as Chasewater are being reminded to continue to observe social distancing measures, as well as staying safe near water.

Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for communities, said:

Cllr Gill Heath

“Our country parks are beautiful places and we want people to enjoy them now that people are able to travel for exercise.

“But it’s everyone responsibility to use common sense and observe the rules and spirit of social distancing and stay at least two metres apart in potentially busy places such as car parks so that we don’t risk another spike in coronavirus cases.

“The sites can become very busy and we would ask people to find another place if a car park is crowded and not to park on road verges, or block access that may be needed in an emergency. 

“If we cannot ensure people’s safety we may have to consider whether it is safe for car parks to remain open.”

Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council

Visitors to county council-run country parks are also being asked to keep dogs on leads and consider wearing gloves for handling gates and other touch points.

Cllr Heath added that the dangers of open water swimming in Chasewater should also be remembered.

Chasewater

“Temperatures are forecast to be high this week and we know there is always a temptation for people to cool off in open water.

“No matter how confident someone is about their swimming ability I would urge them not to swim in open water.

“Water can cause cold water shock in even the strongest swimmers and there can be strong currents beneath the surface, as well as weeds, branches and other obstructions that you can be caught in.”

Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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