Birmingham City Council has come up with a way to help promote social distancing in green spaces, and that’s mowing two metres channels in the grass.
As lockdown restrictions eased yesterday, and exercise became unlimited across England, there were still concerns over how it would be safely implemented. Some councils have decided to keep parks shut for the moment. Plus, some car parks across the country are still closed due to issues with social distancing.
However, Birmingham City Council has decided to take a different approach, and that’s to mow channels into green spaces to promote the two-metre rule.
The council explained that it has 591 parks and open spaces across the area, each varying in size. Cllr John O’Shea said, “By cutting these channels, we will be making our parks more usable – and usable in a safer way.” He also added that it would not be easy to enforce the social distancing rules, but this is one way to help address the current situation.
The grass is cut this way in a bid to make a visual guide for visitors to the city’s green spaces. At the moment, it is not clear how effective it will be, but the council hopes that people will use common sense and follow the government guidelines.
The Prime Minister recently told MPs that “good solid British common sense” had worked throughout the first phase, and he was sure it would work for the second stage.
What are other councils doing to enforce social distancing?
Local authorities up and down the country have issued a range of advice and guidance on the current situation with more as the week unfolds.
However, in light of the relaxation on where you can exercise, some are urging people not to travel outside of their local area for day trips.
Yesterday, Devon Live reported that many people travelled to the popular beauty spot of Dartmoor as soon as the restrictions were lifted. The spot of Haytor was busy, and the car parks were re-opened for visitors. A spokesman for the park said, “We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Dartmoor. Our priority is to help people remain safe – those who come to exercise and the people who live and work in the National Park.”
Speaking with BBC Spotlight last night, a spokesman’s for the park explained that the public needs to be considerate of the area and residents while visiting. This is also true if they are stopping in nearby villages or towns.
Many councils are also urging people to refrain from having BBQs and fires in public places. This isn’t just a safety issue for people; it’s also a strain on the emergency services at a time where they are needed elsewhere.
It’s not just parks and the countryside that have sparked attention. People flocking to beaches are another concern. In the last few days, the RNLI has issued warnings for people looking to go into the sea and said lifeguards would not be present.