We are still in 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, there are  still Lockdown restrictions on where you can go and who you can meet outdoors. From 8th March:

  • You can spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation on your own, with your household or support bubble, or with one other person. This means you can sit down for a drink or picnic. You must continue to maintain social distance from those outside your household. This is in addition to outdoor exercise, which is already permitted.
  • You are urged to stay local to the village, town, or part of the city where you live, until 29th March 2021 when the ‘stay at home’ rule will end but people should continue to minimise the number of journeys they make where possible
  • Overnight stays will NOT be permitted until the restrictions are further eased on 12th April 2021.

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.

Eggardon Hill (c) James Loveridge

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 with Spring on its way!
  • 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. Visit Dorset is also urging you to #RespectProtectEnoy

Enjoying the Dorset countryside from your sofa

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.

Our Stepping into Nature have launched a virtual Picnic in the Park, where you can enjoy the Dorset countryside from your sofa. Activities range from watching awe-inspiring films, virtual walks, countryside sound clips and stories.

Trees and Spring Light (c) Zara Huddleston

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