Council sets out open spaces plans ahead of lockdown easing

North Tyneside Council is making early plans to cope with an influx of visitors to its award-winning parks and beaches once lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

Recent warm weather coupled with non-essential retail and hospitality being closed has already seen large numbers of people visiting North Tyneside beauty spots.

On Monday (March 8) national restrictions will change to allow people to meet one person from another household for exercise or recreation.

Restrictions are then set to be downgraded on March 29 to allow larger gatherings under the ‘rule of six’ and the council is working with Northumbria Police and Nexus to make sure the coastline and green spaces are well-prepared.

The council’s Community and Public Space Protection Team will be on patrol alongside Northumbria Police colleagues to provide a reassuring presence across the borough.

In the meantime, the council is reminding residents and visitors to only exercise locally and avoid gathering in groups and community support officers and Covid marshals will be out and about reminding people about the importance of sticking to the rules.

At the coast, beach wardens, who normally start work in June, will start in spring to help keep visitors safe.

The council will also install additional waste bins at hotspots and deploy extra resources to empty them.

The council is also working with community groups, Cullercoats Collective and Totally Tynemouth Collective, about the provision of new bin stores and the use of volunteer ambassadors to support the council with litter-picking and public awareness.

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “We know that many people will be looking forward to enjoying our beautiful award-winning beaches and parks once the restrictions are lifted.

"We also know that these places are already busier than usual because of the fine weather we have had recently, but we expect a higher volume of people travelling when the national lockdown is eased and it’s important that we are ready earlier than usual.

“We have listened to our residents and we are using the experience of previous summers to plan our approach to keeping North Tyneside a great place to live, work and visit, and we ask the public to work with us to help achieve that.

“As well as helping to maintain standards and make sure that people enjoy our open spaces responsibility, our strategy will also support the economic recovery of North Tyneside as one of the country’s most popular visitor destinations.

“We look forward to working with Northumbria Police and Nexus on Operation Coastwatch to ensure that the coast remains a safe and enjoyable destination for all.”