Parks and Countryside newsletter

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Countryside winter scene in header for newsletter

In this newsletter:

  • Respect, Protect and Enjoy!

  • Closed facilities

  • The Look Out's menagerie of animals

  • Stay at home activities for young children

  • Tips for managing private trees

Respect, Protect and Enjoy!

Winter scene at Shepherd Meadows, by Derek Morgan

We hope that everyone is safely enjoying this half term week. When visiting the countryside for your daily exercise, please remember to stay local and follow the Countryside Code:

  • Stick to paths and give others space
  • Keep your dog under effective control
  • Dog poo - bag it and bin it
  • Close gates behind you
  • Take your litter home

Information about exercising outdoors can be found in the government's National lockdown: Stay at Home guidance.

Thanks to Derek Morgan for sharing his lovely photo of frosty Shepherd Meadows, which was a finalist in our 2019 photographic competition.

Closed facilities

Closed recreation facilities

A reminder that some of our outdoor recreation facilities are closed during lockdown, in line with government guidance.

Please don't try and access them, as you risk spreading the virus and being hit with a fine.

Further information about our parks facilities during the pandemic can be found on our service update page.

Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.

The Look Out's menagerie of animals

Keep an eye out on The Look Out Discovery Centre Facebook page for all their latest news.

This half term week, they're sharing daily posts about their amazing reptiles, insects, and amphibians in their forestry-themed exhibit.

You'll be able to see photos of all their wonderful critters and learn fun facts about them you might not have known.

 Madagascar hissing cockroaches

Sometimes when you hiss at The Look Out's giant hissing cockroaches they hiss back at you!

They make this noise by forcing air through tiny tubes called spiracles.

The indoor facilities are still closed during lockdown, but the outdoor playground is open for advanced online booking for local residents only, and the takeaway coffee shop is still open.

Stay at home activities for young children

Making a den and reading a book - fun activities at home

If it's not possible for you to go outside, because of rainy weather or you're self-isolating, then you might be interested in some half term activities you can try at home. 

The activities are aimed at primary-aged children and they shouldn’t add much additional expense or burden.

Remember, just because it’s half term it doesn’t mean the virus is on holiday.

Tips for managing private trees

Our team of arboriculturists (tree specialists) has put together some simple tips for private tree owners, which will hopefully prove useful.

Oak tree seedling

Newly planted trees

Keep a one metre diameter weed free space around the base of trees and use a mulch (woodchip or old carpet), to reduce competition for moisture and nutrients. Water your trees during long periods of dry weather.


Check tree health and condition

Regularly checking your tree shows you are taking your ‘duty of care’ seriously and reduces liability. If in doubt, contact an appropriate tree-surgeon for basic advice and a quotation for work you want done.

Tree work

Before carrying out tree work, you must first check to see if it's protected by a Tree Preservation Order and then apply for the appropriate permission if it is. It is an offence to prune or remove a protected tree without permission and to willfully damage or destroy a protected tree can lead to a hefty fine.

Use professional and qualified contractors

To find a company with the highest national accreditation visit The Arboricultural Association website. To help you understand which contractor you employ to carry out the works see the Arboricultural Association - Choose your Tree Surgeon web page.

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