Public urged to be caring and kind to Angus’ country parks

ANGUSalive closed its venues on 18 March to help slow the spread of Coronavirus.

Whilst initially the aim was to keep the country parks open for people to enjoy outdoor spaces, the decision was made on 25 March to close the car parks and facilities to help support social distancing efforts, reduce crowds and unnecessary travel. The parks, however, have still been available to access on foot and enjoyed by local residents.

Whilst many visitors accessing the parks have been extremely supportive and helpful by very kindly refilling squirrel and bird feeders, and taking their rubbish and dog mess home, unfortunately not everyone has been so caring and kind to the parks.

Recent reports from the ANGUSalive Countryside team have included people having bbqs, with one at Crombie Country Park resulting in a fire, theft of cones from the Forfar Loch car park as well as the attempted theft of a money box when the top of a cairn was prised off resulting in damage.

Alan Brennan, Operations Lead for Country Parks said: “We’ve closed the car parks to support social distancing, reduce crowds and unnecessary travel but obviously we are unable to close the parks completely. They are open spaces and we want people close-by to access them on foot and enjoy all the benefits outdoor spaces can bring at this really difficult time.

“But we are really saddened and disappointed about these instances which aren’t only disrespectful but also dangerous. I’m also disappointed to also find that thieves are looking to take advantage while our parks are closed.

“We’d like to put a reminder out to people when accessing our parks on foot to continue to be safe, observe the guidance on social distancing and unnecessary travel but also be kind and caring to the parks. It’s not the right time to have bbqs and it’s important that we keep our parks in good shape so they are there to be enjoyed when we open up once again.

“We’d also like to kindly ask any members of the public around our parks, if they see anything suspicious to report it to the police.”

Chief Inspector Wayne Morrison, Angus Area Commander, said: “The public's response in Tayside has been excellent - the majority have accepted police advice and only on very rare occasions have officers had to issue warnings or take enforcement action.

“In line with the rest of the country, our patrols continue at key locations including beaches, dog walking areas, parks and other green spaces. I appreciate that as the restrictions persist and the weather continues to be so good, it may feel tempting to spend time more outdoors and to visit the countless beauty spots we are fortunate to have across Tayside. However the message is clear - you should only leave the house for very limited purposes including buying basic necessities such as food and medicine, for daily exercise, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done at home. Do not travel to take exercise and do not hold gatherings with people from out with your household."