01:46PM, Tuesday 02 February 2021
COVID Marsalls at Dinton Pastures. Picture provided by Wokingham Borough Council
New measures have been implemented at a country park in Hurst in a bid to help reduce visitor numbers and ensure social-distancing guidelines are followed.
The measures at Dinton Pastures Country Park include a requirement for visitors to book a one-hour slot online to use the play area between 10am and 4pm on weekends and in the school holidays.
Visitors must book their slot prior to their visit and staff members will be on site to monitor the usage of the play area and clean up once the hour is up.
Other measures include an additional presence from Wokingham Borough Council’s (WBC) COVID support officers to observe the behaviour of visitors and promote the guidelines, and an increased level of more prominent signage.
The play area will now have the capacity for 150 people during each one-hour slot – this is less than 50 percent of the normal capacity.
Double bookings are not permitted and the councils has asked for visitors to only book if they know they will attend to save disappointment for other families.
All children should be supervised by an adult at all times and this will not be the responsibility of the staff who will be focusing on safety numbers and marshalling the exit and entry points.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive at or just after their booking time slot to stop over-crowding and prevent any queues.
When the session ends, a whistle will be blown and attendees are encouraged to leave the site.
There is a 15-minute period before the next slot commences.
The overflow car park, which was closed on Saturday, January 23 will remain closed until the end of the lockdown at the earliest.
A formal Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) has been put in place, preventing visitors from parking in the surrounding areas.
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure says: “We are aware that local parks and play areas have been extremely busy in recent weeks, especially Dinton Pastures.
“This is of course a testament to how wonderful these outdoor spaces are; however, we do need to ensure that they remain safe places to visit.
“As such, we are investing in the necessary actions to help reduce visitor numbers and stop the spread of Covid-19 in our communities.
“Regular exercise is integral to our physical and mental health and we do not want to stop people from being able to access these outdoor spaces.
“However, it is imperative that we listen to feedback and act accordingly. We also need our residents to play their part.
“Outdoor exercise should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary.
“Please only visit Dinton if you are a Wokingham Borough resident who lives nearby - ideally in Winnersh, Woodley or Hurst.”
He added: “We appreciate all the feedback that our residents have given on our parks and play areas and feel that the decision to limit visitor numbers at Dinton in this way is the right one.”
“We do not want to have to our close our parks, though we may need to take further action if social distancing rules aren’t followed. Please continue to follow the national guidance and help bring infection rates down.”
To book a slot for the play area please visit: www.dinton-pastures.co.uk/plan-your-visit/play-park
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