As Covid-19 restrictions ease and the weather gets warmer, it’s only natural to want to get outdoors, get your fill of fresh air and enjoy seeing your gardens, parks and countryside burst into spring.

From 12th April 2021, we’re all able to get out and explore more. However, to keep Covid-19 transmission rates down:

  • You are still urged to minimise the number of journeys you make where possible
  • Stay safe and respectful of other people and wildlife when out and about (see details below of the small things you can do that make a big difference!)
  • Please be aware that popular spots may get busy – have a back up plan in case your destination is full. There’s lots of amazing countryside to enjoy, have a look at our Explore map for alternative sites as a back up.
  • We’re not quite back to normal – many cafes and pubs are still closed, make sure you have supplies with you just in case.

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 tout and about:

  • Stay local – use this time to get to know the green space and wildlife on your doorstep … there’s a lot to see now Spring has started to spring!
  • 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 #RespectProtectEnjoy

Enjoying the Dorset countryside from your sofa

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