East Devon District Council will be re-opening a further 12 play areas from Monday (27th July) following the relaxation of restrictions around the coronavirus lockdown.

Phased re-opening of play areas continues

East Devon District Council will be re-opening a further 12 play areas from Monday (27th July) following the relaxation of restrictions around the coronavirus lockdown.

Of the 71 play areas and eight outdoor gyms managed by the council, this announcement brings the total number of play areas open across the district to 24. We will continue to assess the remaining play areas and outdoor gym equipment and hope to have them all reopened by the 17th August once safety inspections, risk assessments and mitigation measures have been put in place.

The following sites will re-open from Monday:
• Greenway Lane, Budleigh Salterton
• Carter Avenue, Exmouth
• Lady Byron, Exmouth
• Littleham Village Hall, Exmouth
• Liverton Copse, Exmouth
• The Crescent, Exmouth
• Davey's Playing Field, Honiton
• Whitebridges, Honiton
• Winters Lane, Ottery St Mary
• Recreation Ground, Sidford
• Slewton Crescent, Whimple

Sites already re-opened are:
• Foxhill, Axminster
• North Street, Axminster
• Jubilee, Beer
• Lime Kiln, Budleigh Salterton
• Phear Park, Exmouth
• Queen’s Drive play area, Exmouth
• Redgates, Exmouth
• Allhallows, Honiton
• St Mark’s Road, Honiton
• Land of Canaan, Ottery St Mary
• Manstone Recreation Ground, Sidmouth
• Stowford Rise, Sidmouth

New signage will be in place to remind people to maintain social distancing, to wash their hands thoroughly before and after their visit, to take their own hand sanitiser wherever possible and not to eat and drink whilst using play equipment. Users are also asked to take their litter home or to dispose of it in the bins provided, be considerate of other park users and if any play area appears busy, they should come back at a later time.

As with all outdoor equipment that can be used by everyone, play areas cannot be guaranteed to be free of COVID-19. Parents should supervise their children at all times and should take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and their children while using the equipment.

Government guidance says parents, guardians and carers should sanitise children's hands both before and after using the play equipment.

Councillor Geoff Jung, portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said:

I am really pleased that following the Government’s decision to reduce COVID-19 emergency measures we are able to reopen some of our play areas. We are only able to do this following a thorough review and risk assessment of all our sites, and providing signage to protect the health and wellbeing for all the users.

We are aware that there are other playparks and facilities throughout the district run by a community, group, or parish council who are also considering opening their facilities and we would advise that residents check locally when these play parks are open.”