The Trust took the difficult decision to close certain car parks as we have found that they do encourage unnecessary travel, as well as making it harder to adhere to social distancing rules. The last thing that we want to do is prohibit people using their local nature reserves, it’s fundamentally what we are about.
However, in this challenging and unique situation, we feel a responsibility to do our bit by encouraging people to stay local and providing an environment that supports the safe use of green spaces. We hope that individuals will likewise think and act responsibly in terms of where and by what means they travel and not do so in a way that puts themselves or others at risk.
Our understanding of the recently published guidance regarding “reasonable excuses” for travel is that it was produced to assist Police with their decision-making rather than as guidance for determining whether or not car parks should be open. Government guidance on access to green spaces is still that we should use spaces near to home and not travel unnecessarily.
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s senior managers are monitoring all relevant guidance on a weekly basis and reviewing decisions accordingly. By implementing these measures we very much hope that our visitors, volunteers and staff will be able to return to more sites sooner rather than later.