Wrexham closes all country parks due to people flouting Covid-19 restrictions
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
All car parks at Wrexham’s country parks have been closed until further notice because of people flouting the coronavirus restrictions.
Wrexham Council said the decision had been taken because of the number of visitors travelling by car to local beauty spots.
The alert level four measures in place in Wales require people to start and finish their exercise from home and not to travel in order to do so.
However, there were reports that the car park at Alyn Waters Country Park in Llay was particularly busy over the weekend, leading to locks being placed on the gates, as well as at other locations.
The move comes as Wrexham’s rolling seven-day infection rate is currently the highest in Wales, standing at 851.7 cases per 100,000 of the population.
In an e-mail seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the local authority’s chief officer for environment said it was important for members of the public to stick to the guidelines to reduce transmission levels.
Darren Williams said: “During the weekend our out of hours team received a number of calls including some from colleagues in the police, regarding the amount of vehicles parked up in the park areas.
“Clearly as unnecessary travel, including driving for exercise is prohibited at present, we need to consider similar measures to those adopted during the first lockdown.
“I would hope that the public will understand, follow the guidelines and not drive to facilities to ensure we do everything to keep transmission levels of the virus down.
“It’s not a decision that’s been taken lightly, but due to the increasingly high numbers in Wrexham and across north east Wales they will be re-opened only when it is safe to do so.
“We will be asking all to please follow all the restrictions in place, including not to travel in order to exercise.”
Flintshire Council took similar action over the weekend by closing the car park at Wepre Park in Connah’s Quay.
The request for it to be shut was made by North Wales Police after officers gave out a number of fines to visitors for breaches of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The council’s countryside and coast team said the car park at Waun y Llyn Country Park in Hope had also been closed for similar reasons.
In a post on Facebook, it said: “During tier 4 Covid restrictions you should not travel to exercise, you must start from home.
“Because of the number of people breaking the rules we have closed the car parks at Wepre and Waun y Llyn Country Parks.
“Stay safe, protect yourselves and the NHS.”