An update on being outdoors in the Dorset AONB, protecting local communities and contacting the Dorset AONB Team.
Dorset is currently in Tier 2 of the Covid-19 local restrictions, which means that being out and about in the Dorset AONB will be different.
We are pleased that the benefits of being outdoors has been acknowledged in the Lockdown rules – you are able to take exercise with up to 6 people in total, which includes children of any age. However, the government is asking people to exercise locally wherever possible.
You can find full details of what you are able to do in this phase of the pandemic in accessing green space on Government website.
In Dorset, we have been fortunate to have had a lower incidence of coronavirus compared to many other parts of the country. However, with a relatively elderly population in some parts, local communities are very aware of the devastating impact the virus can have and are still taking the threat very seriously.
We want to urge people who do come to Dorset to visit in a safe and responsible way; looking after our local community, our visitors and the landscape around us. There are simple things you can do:
Know before you go: Whilst Lockdown restrictions are in place, many businesses and facilities such as toilets may be closed so it’s therefore important that you are aware of these and that you plan ahead so you’re in the know before you go.
You can find out more details on the VisitDorset website. Make a back-up plan for where to go if the place you intended to visit is busy and be prepared to change your plans if you need to.
- Think of others, by keeping to current social distancing guidance and avoiding walking near farm buildings and homes where possible
- Be respectful of the people who live and work here – please take all litter home, park responsibly and avoid or be very careful with barbeques.
- Take hand sanitiser with you and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
- Avoid putting pressure on emergency services – don’t take part in any dangerous activities
- Take time to read the signs. Respect the measures that local authorities and site management have put in place to help keep everyone safe
- If visiting the coast, please also be aware that lifeguards are not in operation on all beaches, so it is important that you take extra care.
Please Respect, Protect and Enjoy beautiful Dorset!
Natural England have updated the Countryside Code for how to use outdoor spaces respectfully and safely during these challenging times. The Code urges you to ease respect other people and protect the natural environment by:
- leaving no trace of your visit and taking all of your litter home
- not using barbecues as they risk causing wildfires
- keeping dogs under effective control and on a lead when you are around farm animals
- leaving gates as you find them and following instructions on signs
- keeping to footpaths and following signs where they suggest alternative routes
Wildlife may have moved into areas where it hasn’t previously been found, including nesting birds. Land managers may have taken action to provide extra protection of wildlife. Be vigilant and comply with these protective measures to ensure you do not disrupt the local wildlife.
The Dorset AONB Team continues to work from home and is conducting all meetings remotely. All volunteer activities, events and face-to-face project activity have been postponed to safeguard participants, event leaders and our team. If you would like to get in touch with any of the Dorset AONB Team, our email and phone details remain the same but we can no longer receive post.
We are really looking forward to the time when we can run our activities with you again but will make sure we resume only when it is safe to do so. Until then please take care and stay safe.
The Dorset AONB Team