Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn is reminding people to play their part in keeping each other safe and protecting our NHS by acting responsibly when it comes to taking their exercise this weekend.
Public paths and land in several popular areas across Wales have been closed to avoid crowds gathering. Local authorities, national park authorities and Natural Resources Wales have powers to close paths in their areas if their use poses a high risk to the incidence or spread of infection in their areas.
While the majority of paths are still open, the Deputy Minister has appealed to people, especially dog walkers – to follow the rules:
- Do not travel – exercise outside close to your home
- Go out alone or with members of your household
- Keep 2 metres away from others at all times
- Be vigilant with hand-washing and hygiene – gates, stiles and other outdoor structures are touched regularly
- Do not undertake new or risky activities – stay safe during this time of increased burden on our emergency and health services
- Follow the Countryside Code – consider farmers and others who are working hard to keep our shelves stocked and infrastructure running
- Keep dogs on leads
The Deputy Minister said:
We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world but that natural beauty will still be there after this crisis is over.
If you have farmland close to home and are using public paths that cross it, please remember you are walking through someone’s home and workplace.
As with the rest of the population, many farmers will be self-isolating while also tending to their livestock. There will be nobody to care for the animals and produce the food you need if they become unwell.
Observe social distancing at all times, especially if walking through farmyards, and be aware that gates and stiles are touched regularly.
Please follow the Countryside Code. Stick to the path, leave any gates as you found them and, most importantly, keep your dogs on a lead around livestock. We are currently in the middle of the lambing season, a time when livestock is particularly vulnerable, and even the best-behaved dog can chase farm animals.