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Scottish Outdoor Access in the time of Covid-19.

A Ranger Blog – Scottish Outdoor Access and Covid-19.


Posted in:
blog, News

During a normal Easter weekend with the sort of weather we’ve had there would have been hundreds of people getting out and enjoying the fresh air across the Park. Castle Semple would have been mobbed with people walking along the lochshore path and into Parkhill Woods Muirshiel and Greenock Cut centres would have been running Ranger led Easter events with families getting involved with our crafts and egg hunts. Lunderston Bay may even have seen people wading into the Clyde before treating themselves to an ice cream.

These aren’t normal times. This weekend we are so thankful to everyone for following the government guidance and staying home and staying local. The majority of the people we encountered over the weekend were locals who had walked or cycled from their home as part of their daily exercise and were respecting the 2m distancing rules.

In Scotland we have the best access laws in the UK (in our opinion). The Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) encourages people to get outside and make the most our land. With the ongoing pandemic they have published a statement to help people fully understand the temporary changes to SOAC during the Covid-19 outbreak, which can be found on the following link.

 

https://www.gov.scot/publications/ministerial-statement-on-access-rights-during-covid-19/

Clear and concise guideance can be found in the SOAC webpage

https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/access-outdoors-during-current-coronavirus-outbreak-guidance-public-and-land-managers

Any restriction in outdoor access is completely opposite to what we normally want. The Regional Park was established in 1991 with the intention of encouraging people from the surrounding towns and cities to access the countryside and benefit from spending time in nature. But these restrictions are necessary to help us fight this strain of Coronavirus.

While many are people are able to work from home, some of our staff are coming into work, although less frequently as normal, to make sure that everything is OK and undertaking any essential work. Apart from our staff being onsite, local farmers are still out working hard during this busy lambing season. Contractors are still engaged removing the old Inverkip power station pylons and cables whilst others are planting trees.

Staying home is helping to protect everyone that has to be out at work so thank you. We hope you all stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you all back as soon as we can.

 

Loch Thom
Sunrise at Loch Thom
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