Brixton’s big slab of green, Brockwell Park, was closed to the public at the weekend after Lambeth council said some visitors had ignored the government’s lockdown rules.
More than 3,000 Londoners visited Brockwell Park on Saturday, with ‘some visitors sunbathing and congregating in large groups,’ according to Lambeth council.
‘This is unacceptable at this time. Unfortunately, the actions of this minority means that, following police advice, Brockwell Park will be closed on Sunday,’ the council said.
After Sunday’s closure, Brockwell Park has opened as normal today (Monday April 6), but the council has stressed the importance of social distancing and emphasised that the park cannot be used for ‘sitting, picnics, sunbathing or barbecues’.
Following the closure, questions have been raised as to whether the park could be shut over Easter or during future sunny weekends. In a statement released on Monday April 6, Sonia Winifred, cabinet member for equalities and culture, said Lambeth council was ‘working hard’ to keep parks open during the current crisis and that it will ‘continue to monitor social distancing, as far as possible during this lockdown, in coordination with the police.’
‘After Sunday’s closure of Brockwell Park I’m sure the message is crystal clear and I’m sure people will observe the social distancing rules,’ Winifred added. ‘Patrolling parks at this time to make sure people are following the very clear national guidelines isn’t the best use of our resources. Neither is having to organise park closures.’
Brockwell Park is not the only green space in the capital to close its gates during the UK lockdown. Victoria Park closed indefinitely at the end of March and all parks and playgrounds in Hammersmith & Fulham were temporarily closed in March as well, although they reopened to the public on March 27.
So what exactly are the rules? Read up on what you can go outside for, when and who with while London is in lockdown.
Avoid the parks with our list of alternative walks around London.