Coronavirus: Parks and open spaces
Community Greenspace manage the Council's parks and play areas, countryside sites, promoted path networks and other green spaces.
During the coronavirus pandemic measures to help safeguard everyone using our parks and open spaces are in place. These measures follow Scottish Government guidance and aim to reduce social contact as much as possible.
Stay safe and show respect
The right of responsible access still applies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please take extra care to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and ministerial statement on access rights 9.4.20. In particular ensure social distancing is maintained to stay safe and show respect to others. Scotland's route map through and out of the COVID-19 crisis explains the key phases.
We are currently in level 4, by law you can only leave your home for essential purposes. Further guidance can be found here.:
- You can go outside to exercise but should do so near home and should start and finish at the same place.
- Up to 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors (children under 12 do not count) applying social distancing - keep a safe 2m distance between your group and others.
- Avoid contact - take hygiene precautions when you are outside and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.
- Keep your dogs on a leads or under close control so they won't approach others or livestock.
- Cyclists and runners - when passing others call ahead and be prepared to slow down and give way to maintain social distancing.
The Council has a statutory duty to uphold access rights and, if public access is unreasonably restricted on privately owned land, will endeavour to work constructively to encourage good relations with landowners/managers and their wider communities, particularly at this difficult time. Please read our policy statement on upholding access rights during COVID-19 [77Kb] and our PKC Covid-19 outdoor access guidance [83Kb]. Farmers and other land managers may ask you to avoid particular working areas, such as farmyards or fields with pregnant or young livestock, please follow signage and any temporary diversions.
Grounds Maintenance Operations
Our grounds maintenance staff are currently supporting essential council services and are likely to be doing so for the foreseeable future. Our staff have continued to be present throughout the pandemic, keeping our cemeteries and parks litter free while also ensuring that cemeteries, parks and open spaces remain open.
Moving into the winter period, our staff will increasingly be called upon to support essential services. It is expected that this will result in many of our teams being unable to adhere to the work schedules or high standards of previous years, and that some tasks will have to take priority over others. Because of this, the presence of weeds will become more visible and shrub beds will need to be pruned using mechanical equipment more often. We will endeavour where possible to lift fallen leaves, however there may be occasions when we will shred and leave the debris, reducing the visual effect of our parks and open spaces while minimising the occurrence of large areas of dead turf. We will continue to ensure that burial grounds receive particular attention.
Unfortunately, there will be instances where some areas will not come up to the standards previously achieved and this may continue for many months.
Pitches and goalposts
Due to the current covid-19 restriction council pitches are not yet available for booking by clubs or teams. Youth training (17 years and under) is allowed and is subject to the national social distancing and hygiene guidance.
Play areas are now open and available for use in line with Scottish Government guidance. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please respect physical distancing and remember to clean hands after use of the play equipment.
The Council is cutting grass in as many parks and open spaces as possible, using single operator tractor and ride on mower machinery. This is to help people to exercise locally while maintaining social distancing.
We are currently carrying out hand and pedestrian mowing activities with prioritisation being taken in our cemeteries and amenity areas where members of the public can take their exercise. Other areas which require hand/pedestrian mowing maintenance will be cut as resources allow. We are monitoring these guidelines closely and will continue to implement maintenance activities when it is advised by the Scottish Government, that it is safe to do so. We appreciate your continued patience during these unprecedented and unforeseeable circumstances
The OAP garden maintenance scheme is underway to ensure that those self-isolating can get out into their gardens and benefit from fresh air. We would ask that householders follow the social distancing guidance and stay inside while our crews are undertaking work in their gardens.
Grass cutting within cemeteries is being carried out using single operator tractor and ride on mower machinery. This means that there will be some areas left uncut and the cemetery may look untidy.
North Inch Golf Course
The North Inch Golf Course is open. A number of rules and regulations have been introduced to ensure a safe environment for golfers and our staff.
To access the golf course a player MUST:
- Not be displaying any Covid19 symptoms
- Not be in self isolation
- Not have been out of the country in the last 14 days
- Have a pre-reserved tee time booking on our online system or telephone. No play can be allowed unless pre-booked.
For full guidance please visit www.northinchgolf.co.uk/covid-19.
The golf course is part of the park so golfers and public please respect each other - Golfers please be aware that the public have a right to cross the golf course and be mindful of that before playing your shots. Public please remember that the golf course will be busy so there are hazards which were not there when the course was closed.
Public access rights allow for crossing golf courses responsibly so please respect the golfers and in particular:
- allow players to play their shot before crossing the fairway.
- be still when close to a player about to play.
- follow paths where they exist.
- keep your dog on a short lead.
Please see the Scottish Outdoor Access Code for further information about access rights on golf courses.
Events in parks and open spaces
Following current government advice there must be no gatherings of any sort at this time. The national guidance indicates that there will no events with 500 or more people attending allowed for a considerable time. The Council have asked organisers of such events on Council sites to postpone, or cancel them over an ongoing 2 month rolling period. This will be kept under review in light of any further national guidance.
If you have an event planned in one of our parks or greenspaces and want to discuss how this will affect you, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service warn that due to dry conditions there is a very high risk of wildfires. As COVID -19 restrictions ease please take extra care, stay safe and respect the environment and the rescue services. Please do not use barbeques or light fires in the countryside and remove and dispose of all cigarette ends carefully.
As COVID-19 restrictions ease please plan ahead and continue to avoid busy places as social distancing will continue to be vital. In many places facilities, including toilets, some car parks and food outlets, may remain closed so ensure you take all you need for any trips out and make sure you leave the area as you found it.
Allotments and Food Growing spaces
If using an allotment or food growing space, please follow the national social distancing rules and read the latest government guidelines [403Kb]. Further guidelines pertaining to allotments can be found at the ScotGov website