Easter is almost upon us and, after the limitations of lockdown and winter weather, people will be desperate to get back outside this Easter, particularly with the opportunity to meet family and friends outdoors for the first time since Christmas. The “rule of six” came into effect on 29 March which means we can meet up to six people, or two households, outdoors and a few outdoor leisure attractions will be re-opening.
The Chilterns countryside provides a vital green space for many and is likely to come under huge pressure over Easter with the easing of restrictions. The Chilterns Conservation Board, along with the tourism sector and conservation organisations, is warning the public that most visitor facilities will still be closed and that it will be essential to ‘Know before you Go’.
Annette Weiss from the Chilterns Conservation Board said “The main ‘honey-pot’ countryside sites will be extremely busy. If there are no parking places people will be turned away, so it’s best to plan ahead and avoid the busiest places. There are lots of walks from market towns where there is plenty of parking which you can see in our Guide to enjoying the Chilterns countryside whilst avoiding the busiest places.”
Mary Tebje from the Chilterns Tourism Network says: “So that we can all enjoy our Easter and springtime in the Chilterns, please plan ahead. There will be pressure on local services, which you can help us manage by booking your experiences and meals, with our local businesses. They will be pleased to hear from you!”
Lucy Dowson, Tourism Development Manager at Visit Buckinghamshire adds “Our businesses are all really looking forward to being able to welcome residents and visitors once again. However we do ask that people follow the recommended guidelines, book in advance and respect the local communities so there’s something for everyone to enjoy!”.
The CCB and countryside organisations are urging people to follow the Countryside Code, which has just been refreshed after extensive consultation on people’s experiences during the pandemic.
Based around the themes of “Respect, protect, enjoy” the Code aims to inform and educate visitors and residents alike so everyone can enjoy the great outdoors.