PADLOCKS are on the gates of the children’s playground and skatepark at Ledbury Recreation Ground, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Ledbury Town Council, which runs the recreation ground, is still concerned that the ‘stay away’ message isn’t getting through.

Town Clerk, Angela Price said that when staff went down to the play area and skatepark on Monday evening, to put the closure notices in place, at a time when the gates had already been padlocked, half a dozen youngsters had jumped to fences and were playing there, and one young person sneered when told what the notices were about.

When asked when the signs and padlocks might be removed, Mrs Price said: “We will review the situation, when appropriate and be guided by what happens.”

The Recreation Ground itself remains open, as an area of green open space; but Mrs Price stressed that the adult exercise equipment, in an unfenced area, should not be used. This is because there is some evidence that the virus thrives well on metal and plastic surfaces.

Close to the adult exercise equipment is another children’s play area, which is unfenced, and Mrs Price stressed that this also should not be used.

All public play areas in the county have been closed until further notice by Herefordshire Council, because of the coronavirus crisis.

In order to protect the public from the threat of COVID-19, Herefordshire Council took the decision to close all public play areas from Monday, March 23, until further notice.

A spokesman said: “The decision has been taken due to the unprecedented threat to Public Health posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, and will help to support official guidance about social distancing.”

But the closure of play areas does not mean that parks are closed in the county, at the time of going to press - providing that guidelines are followed.

The spokesman added: “Parks are still open, however, please follow government advice by avoiding gatherings and maintaining social distancing.”

Leisure centres run by Halo, on behalf of Herefordshire Council, have been shut since March 20.

A walk in the park, by oneself or one member of the household, is permissible as daily exercise under present Government lockdown restrictions.