More time spent in parks last week than before lockdown

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Friday, May 22nd, 2020 9:02pm

By Keri Trigg - Local Democracy Reporter

© Copyright Fabian Musto and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

People spent more time at Shropshire’s public parks and beauty spots after the lockdown was eased than before the pandemic, new figures have revealed.

Data compiled by Google showed a spike of more than 40 per cent above the ‘baseline’ figure for the usual amount of time members of the public spend at open spaces in the county.

These include castles, public gardens, national forests and camping grounds.

The statistics have been released by Google based on smartphone location data and compare trends to baseline figures calculated from the average amount of time spent at each location category on weekdays over five weeks at the beginning of the year.

Ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, Shropshire Council has urged people to exercise near their homes and avoid travelling to popular spots.

A statement from the council said: “Please remember to act sensibly and consider if you need to travel to exercise.

“This may overwhelm certain parts of the county. Shropshire is the largest inland rural county in England, and we are very lucky to have beautiful countryside on our doorsteps. It will still be here for everyone to enjoy after lockdown.”

People who do travel to parks and other sites have been told to maintain social distancing and follow signage out up to ensure that excessive numbers of people are not passing through gates.

Councillor Lezley Picton, portfolio holder for leisure, said: “If you do travel to one of our sites, you must behave responsibly. Anyone seen breaking the Government rules will be reported to the police.”

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