COVID-19 Update 3rd April

With sunny days and warm temperatures forecast, this weekend is promising to be the real start of Spring and the Commons will be busy with visitors taking their hour of exercise.  Our advice and guidelines for visiting the Commons remains:


It is that simple

We can’t stress enough the importance for all our visitors to keep the required 2m (6`6”) apart and to not gather in groups (unless from the same household).

It is great that we have the Commons to share and enjoy but to get through this difficult time all of us need to work together and there are a few simple guidelines to follow which will help you and all our visitors stay safe:

  • Keep your family group together, don’t block paths and be prepared to move into single file if necessary
  • Avoid busy paths if you can – walk on the horse-rides, in the woods or on the fairways (NOT the greens or teeing off areas) – allow those that are less able or not permitted to go “off-piste” use the main paths
  • Let people know if you are running or cycling up behind them, slow down, call out or ring your bell and give them a chance to move aside
  • Please do not spit or clear your nose as you are exercising
  • Cyclists keep your speed down - be sure you can stop safely if a child or dog runs out in front of you
  • Keep your dog near you and under proper control at all times
  • Keep your dog on a lead in busy areas - do not let them run up to other visitors or other dogs so that you have to get within 2 metres to retrieve them
  • Gym-type exercising – please do not use benches, goal posts or any other Commons’ furniture for exercising – they are not gym equipment

Be Considerate

Please be considerate of others, take responsibility for not only your safety but that of all those around you.  It is not acceptable to gather in groups to play games or sit and have a picnic.  If our staff do need to approach you, please respect that they are doing their job and putting themselves at risk to keep the Commons clean and safe.  These guidelines are not just about minimising risk to you, but also the risk you might pose to other people. 

Busy times

If you are visiting during the week please note that the Commons are getting busier between 4.30pm and 7.00pm and, for the time being, this is likely to be the norm.  If you have any flexibility to change your routine and visit at a different time, perhaps during the morning, it will help ease the pressure at these busy times, making it safer for everyone. 

But remember, social distancing doesn’t mean emotional distancing:

  • Be kind
  • Respect other people – there is a real fear about passing on the virus
  • Be polite
  • Smile and say hello – a simple greeting could make someone’s day a lot brighter!


Respecting our Commons

Despite everything, the Conservators and their staff still have a duty to protect the Commons and its wildlife.  Please respect the Commons and the work of our team during your visit.

  • Do make use of the golf course, but please keep off the golf greens and tee-off areas.
  • Do not light barbeques or any form of fire. The ground may be wet but, in some areas, it is drying out quickly and we have already had one fire this week.
  • Do not fly any drones or model aircraft


In addition to what we’ve mentioned above:

  • Cycling is only permitted on the designated shared use pedestrian and cycle tracks – if you are not sure where they are, there is a map available here.  The rule of thumb on the Commons is that if there isn’t a sign saying you can cycle, then you can’t.  We have also put new notices up in strategic places – please read them. 
  • Always give way to pedestrians.


In addition to what we’ve mentioned above:

  • The “Dogs on Lead” area, or the “Skylark Zone”, restrictions on The Plain have been in place since 1st March so we can encourage and protect our ground-nesting birds, such as Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.  Please look out for the notices and keep your dogs on lead in this area and keep to the grass pathways.  Many birds also nest in areas of bramble and gorse so do be careful in these areas too.
  • The “Dogs out of Ponds” restriction comes into place on 1st April, and most of our ponds will be dog-free zones in order to protect our wildfowl as we approach breeding season.  Around Queensmere, you will also need to keep your dog on a lead. This is as much for their protection as it is to protect our resident swans – during breeding season they will attack a dog without a second thought.
  • No more than four dogs in any one group
  • Pick up after your dog and dispose of the bag responsibly in one of the dog waste bins, or take it home for disposal
  • Don't let your dog disturb other visitors or wildlife


Thank you for your continued support during this difficult time.
Please take care and stay safe.