Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has confirmed that its nature reserves remain open to the public but has encouraged people to ensure they maintain social distancing to avoid further spread of coronavirus.
Chief Executive Dr Gary Mantle MBE said:
“Our nature reserves are open and remain excellent places to unwind with wildlife and get some fresh air and exercise away from crowds. The UK government's guidance on Social Distancing recognises the value of going for a walk outdoors if you stay more than two metres from others. We also know how important nature is for our wellbeing, and so over the coming weeks we will be suggesting things that you can do from home, or in your garden.
“We want to offer a big thank you to all our members and supporters– it’s particularly at difficult times like these that your support is so important to us.”
In accordance with government advice, the Trust is cancelling or postponing planned events and activities until further notice.
It has also closed the Kingfisher Café at Langford Lakes, and the reserve itself is also closed for essential maintenance until 6th April. The toilets at Lower Moor Farm have also been closed to prevent further spread of the virus.
After much discussion and consideration the Trust has also decided that it will now stop all Forest School support programmes and temporarily close Lakeside Care Farm to ensure the safety of both its staff and students at this challenging time. This decision will be reviewed regularly and the Trust hopes to resume its alternative education provision once it is safe and appropriate to do so.
The Trust is also working on innovative solutions to keep supporting those in need, and its adult wellbeing programmes are keeping in touch with everyone via phone, email and a new weekly wellbeing newsletter.