Coronavirus Update on our sites Updated 7 July 2020 In order to protect lives, we must all follow the latest government advice in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) www.gov.uk/coronavirus Government's main message remains: stay at home as much as possible Respect other people and protect the natural environment The UK Government is continuing to ease restrictions in a manner that is safe, cautious and consistent with our plan. At this stage: you can meet in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household - you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case - even inside someone’s home - that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. when you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines You should not: socialise outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is exclusively from two households or support bubbles interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship At all times, you should continue to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home, particularly ensuring you are two metres away from anyone outside your household. If you feel unwell, or anyone in your household has symptoms, we ask that you please do not attend any of our parks and follow the government advice to self-isolate. Rushmere Country Park - Coronavirus FAQs Are the car parks open? The main entrance car park in Linslade Road is OPEN 9am-7pm* (last entry 6pm). Limited parking also available at the Stockgrove car park in Brickhill Road 9am - 5pm (last entry 4.30pm). *the site may close early on occasions where access exceeds risk assessments. We urge all our visitors to act responsibly and not to park on the roads around the park, causing nuisance to our neighbours and the people of Heath and Reach. We have reduced the amount of cars allowed in to enable social distancing. The main car park has provision for horse box parking. We also have disabled parking for Blue Badge Holders but the £3 parking fee still applies. Is the park open? Yes it is - the main entrance car park is OPEN 9am-7pm* with limited parking at Stockgrove 9am - 5pm. Visitor centres and play areas at both entrances remain CLOSED. The Park has a number of access points, as well as many public rights of way including the Greensand Ridge Walk, and is therefore open for responsible users on foot or bicycle outside the car park opening hours, and we urge in the strongest terms the need to strictly follow the latest Government advice on Social Distancing. Safe social distancing at Rushmere Country Park Footpaths: Please keep to one side so others may pass at a safe distance. If needed at narrower parts of our paths, please step aside to allow others to pass at a safe distance. Dog walking: We strongly urge you to keep dogs on a lead to conform with social distancing guidelines - most importantly when other park users are present. Hygiene: Wash your hands before and after your visit. Cyclists: Maintain a reduced speed in the Park and a two metre distance from pedestrians at all times. Please do not use the Ridge Riders Downhill Area which is currently closed for your safety. Entry cycle access points into the park are free to use but use of the Ridge Riders Cross Country route requires the purchase of a Greensand Cycle Pass. Are the toilets and cafes open? Yes, toilets at both entrances are now open with social distancing in place to queue safely and increased cleaning and maintenance which will lead to more frequent closure as this takes place. Herons View Centre Toilets open 9.00 – 6pm Stockgrove Entrance Toilets open 9.00 – 3.30pm The safety of the public, volunteers and staff is our priority and re-opening of on-site facilities will be gradual and phased over time. Subject to staff availability and adherence to social distancing guidelines, we are prioritising the opening of toilets and take away refreshments for visitors. Please be aware, there may be some disruption to these services, as toilets will more regularly be closed for cleaning and maintenance. Take away facilities may initially close mid-week if staffing is limited. All play areas remain closed. It is still essential that you follow the guidance given to keep yourself and others safe: Avoid using the public toilet where possible. These facilities are cleaned/inspected throughout the day. The toilets will be closed during cleaning. You must maintain a safe distance of 2 metres from others when entering, waiting or leaving public toilets. If on entry you are unable to maintain social distancing, please wait in the designated queuing area, keeping 2 metres apart from others and avoid blocking the entrance. Some cubicles may be closed for your safety, do not use. All toilets may be closed without notice for safety reasons. Avoid touching surfaces where possible-do not touch your face. Before leaving the facility WASH YOUR HANDS with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry thoroughly. Dispose of paper towels in the bins provided. Please use and leave the facility as quickly as possible. Use hand sanitiser/wash your hands again when you get home. Please respect our staff. Both the Rushmere Hatch and Stockgrove Hatch are now offering a limited takeaway service with social distancing queuing in place 9am - 5pm (Whilst we will prioritise these services for weekends, there may be some closures on weekdays associated with cleaning, maintenance, risk assessments); the Tree Tops Cafe remains CLOSED. Is the Visitor Centre open? No, for the safety of staff and visitors, we have CLOSED both Visitor Centres, including the outside Deck. Are the play areas open? No - please do not try to enter play areas and please keep children away from the play equipment. Can I have a BBQ? No, we're not allowing this at present. Picnics are allowed in small gatherings but please take all your litter home as we have limited staff and no volunteering at present and need to protect our wildlife. Can I still hire a wheelchair? Unfortunately our wheelchair hire service is not possible while the Visitor Centre remains closed. Will any events and activities be running? All events and activities in the park have been cancelled until the end of August at the earliest. Rushmereparkrun has been cancelled in line with all UK parkrun events. Will there be a staff presence in the park? We are retaining a Duty Ranger presence. If you have an emergency in the Park, contact the Ranger on duty on 07817 205870 (please note this is not a 24/7 service) or call the police on 101. For general enquiries or any other queries please email: [email protected] where Trust staff will respond as quickly as is practicable - please note the inbox is not monitored 24/7. How do I pay for parking? Parking costs £3 for the whole day. Main entrance car park: Pay on exit using bank card (contactless or chip & pin), Greensand Parking Pass or coins (no change given) as we are not able to sell tokens at present. Stockgrove car park: pay on exit with coins (no change given) or Greensand parking pass ONLY. What about my Greensand parking pass? You can re-new or purchase a Greensand parking pass online, please be aware that it may take us a little longer to process as our team is working remotely. What about cycling at the park? Free access trails into the park lead you to the visitor centre. The Ridge Riders cross country trial is OPEN for use with a Greensand Cycle Pass available online as an annual or daily option. The Ridge Riders jump area is currently CLOSED for your safety - please do not use it. Is horse riding available? Yes, horse box parking is available in the horse box area at the rear of the main car park. Horse riders using the trails are required to purchase a Greensand Horseriding Pass. With visitor levels currently so high we are sorry we cannot provide horse box parking at weekends. Can I volunteer? Sorry not at present - we have ceased all organised volunteering tasks and have asked all our volunteers to stay safe at home! Donations most welcome! We need your help now more than ever before! We run Rushmere Country Park on a not for profit basis but with all income halted for two months and with little opportunity of fundraising for the rest of the summer, we need your donations to help us run this wonderful leisure facility which was there, for local visitors at least, throughout lockdown. If you have been walking your dog or using the park for exercise throughout this difficult time please consider supporting us! We will continue to follow latest government advice and will update our statements and website as soon as we know more. In the meantime, please keep safe and stay home. Aspley Woods - FAQS Is the car park open? Yes - landowner Bedford Estates informs us the Longslade Road car park is now open from 7am - 8pm daily. What about Cycling at Aspley? The cross country trails are OPEN for use with a Greensand Cycle Pass available online as an annual or daily option. The jump area is currently CLOSED for your safety - please do not use it. Is horse riding available? Yes, horse box parking is available in car park. Horse riders using the trails are required to purchase a Greensand Horse Pass. The Working Woodlands Centre is CLOSED All our learning and education programmes and volunteer activities have been cancelled. No permission will be granted for filming and photography shoots at our sites. No organised group visits will be permitted.