Quiet weekend in Ipswich parks as public obey exercise rules

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:10 12 April 2020

Park rangers have thanked people for observing the rules while exercising in Ipswich parks.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Park rangers have thanked people for observing the rules while exercising in Ipswich parks. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


Council officials in Ipswich have thanked park users in the town for obeying rules about using open spaces only to exercise – and treating parks staff with respect.

There were fears earlier this week that a fine bank holiday weekend would encourage people to use the parks for other reasons – including meeting up with friends and having picnics or drinking.

However after appeals through our newspapers and websites, park rangers reported there were very few people in parks who were not there for exercise as is permitted under the government instructions during the coronavirus crisis.

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A spokesman said: “The rangers have said that the parks have been very quiet today. Clearly the vast majority of people in Ipswich are abiding by the guidelines and those going to the parks are doing so to exercise in line with what the government has said.

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“There were some incidents last week that caused us concern – but we have seen very few problems so far this weekend despite the very nice weather. Our rangers have said that people who are exercising in the parks have been waving to them and shouting thanks for their work. That is very good to hear.”

Earlier in the week there had been some reports that rangers had been abused and sworn at when they challenged people who were picnicking or drinking with friends in the park.

The borough has made it clear that it does not want to close any of its parks because it sees them as vital resources for people to take exercise, particularly those people who live in flats or in very small houses who have no garden in which to enjoy the fine spring weather.

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Weather forecasts suggests that Saturday was the last really warm and sunny day of the bank holiday weekend with the possibility of thunderstorms on Sunday and a dramatic fall in temperatures by Monday – so the temptation to use the parks for things other than taking exercise is not likely to be so strong.

However park rangers will continue to patrol them to ensure that users are following government rules about social distancing and taking exercise – and the council is hoping that people are getting the message and will carrying on using the town’s open spaces in line with government requirements.

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