Police warn against driving to Cannock Chase as Forestry England shuts sites
Residents have been warned to stay away from Cannock Chase, with car parks closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Forestry England has urged people not to travel to its sites, including the Chase, in light of the Government advice to avoid all but essential travel.
The car park at Birches Valley has been closed as a result, as have all cafes and bike hire centres, after play areas and toilets were shut by Cannock Chase Council earlier in the week.
"The most important thing for Forestry England is to keep the public and our staff safe," Forestry England said in a statement.
"The Government has said everyone must stay at home apart from essential travel. Sadly this means we have to ask you not to come to the nation’s forests."
Police have also warned residents in Staffordshire to stay away from beauty spots in the county unless they live within walking distance.
People are now only allowed to leave their home to buy basics, exercise once a day or travel to and from work if they cannot work from home.
Staffordshire Police wrote on Facebook: "There’s been some confusion around whether people can visit and exercise in the Staffordshire countryside, including Cannock Chase, the Roaches and other country parks.
"We’re asking you not to visit these areas and to stay close to home to exercise for the daily exercise, as per the government guidelines on social distancing.
"We understand that there’s a small number of people who live within these immediate areas who may continue to walk dogs and exercise, but cars should only be used for essential journeys and not to travel somewhere to exercise.
"We all need to work together to prevent the spread of Covid-19, protect the NHS and save lives.
"Thank you for your support in staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel. The beautiful Staffordshire countryside will still be there in a few weeks for us all to enjoy."
Cannock Chase Council had previously announced that all play areas and toilets would be closed
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