COVID-19 and the Dorset AONB: January 2021

An update on being outdoors in the Dorset AONB, protecting local communities and contacting the Dorset AONB Team.

Wareham Causeway in Winter (c) Michael Brown

We are now in a National Lockdown and the Government is urging people to stay home to protect the NHS and save lives.

While we know that being outdoors is good for your health and wellbeing, under the new Lockdown rules you are only allowed to exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person and this should be limited to once per day. You are urged to stay local to the village, town, or part of the city where you live.

Meeting outdoors for a picnic or social gathering and overnight stays are no longer permitted until the restrictions are eased.

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.

Coronavirus in Dorset

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 protecting our local communities must be our priority.

We want to urge people in Dorset to stay safe and respectful of other people and wildlife when taking exercise during the lockdown:

  • Stay local – use this time to get to know the green space and wildlife on your doorstep … there’s a lot to see even in midwinter!
  • Think of others by keeping to current social distancing guidance, avoid walking near farm buildings and homes where possible, use hand sanitiser and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  • Please take all litter home
  • Avoid putting pressure on emergency services – don’t take part in any dangerous activities
  • Keep dogs under effective control and on a lead when you are around farm animals
  • Land managers may have taken action to provide extra protection of wildlife – keep an eye on changes to ensure you do not disrupt the local wildlife
  • Keep to footpaths, leave gates as you find them and follow signs where they suggest alternative routes

Natural England have updated the Countryside Code for how to use outdoor spaces respectfully and safely during these challenging times.

Looking forward to brighter times

We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Dorset once restrictions ease but for now please stay home and enjoy Dorset from the comfort of your own home.

Durlston Lighthouse (c) Simon Parvin, Landscapes for Life Photo Competition 2020

The Dorset AONB Team

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