Countryside Stance on COVID-19

The Countryside Stance on COVID-19

California Paddling Pool Remains Closed

 Updated 16 July 12:00

The pool remains closed at this point in time. We are considering the latest Government Guidance on  how and if we can open whilst maintaining safety for both visitors and our staff. 


Bird Hides at Dinton Reopen at the Weekend 

Updated 15 July 18:00

We are preparing to reopen the bird hides at Dinton Pastures Country Park ready for bird watchers and nature lovers to enjoy from Saturday 18th July. In line with the Government Guidance we will be asking people to adopt good social distancing and adhere to our hide capacity numbers which are:

  • Sandford Hide 3 People
  • Teal Hide 2 People 
  • Bittern Hide 5 People

 

Please also remember to wash your hands before and after your visit.


Country Park Play Areas Swing into Action on Tuesday 7th July 

Updated 03 July 16:00

In line with the Government's latest guidance, we will be working hard to safely open our country park play areas to the public. We will individually assess the play areas, carry out our safety checks, install signage and other mitigations to ensure social distancing can be maintained upon reopening the gates.  This work will take time, as such we aim to open both Dinton and California Country Park play areas on Tuesday 7th July. 


COVID Secure Summer Holiday Activities 

Updated 02 July 18:00

We are excited to announce that we have a COVID secure summer holiday activity plan for Dinton! This plan does involve some significant amendments, a few cancellations and indeed an element of business as normal.


We will be contacting customers over the next six working days to cancel, amend or confirm your summer holiday booking with us. Contact will be made in that priority order to give everyone the best time to make alternative arrangements, if needed.


We will launch our revised summer holiday program on Monday 13th July and open bookings to everyone else

 


Public Toilets at Dinton Pastures Reopen

Updated 13 June 18:00

The toilets at Dinton Pastures Country park will be open from tomorrow. We ask people to adopt strict social distancing and good hand washing regimes. The toilet blocks have been reduced in capacity with clear signage on the doors. If the blocks are at capacity we kindly ask you to queue outside. There is a clear one way access, queuing and exit system in place. The Changing Places toilet reopened earlier this afternoon. 


The toilets at California Country Park remain closed, but we hope to get them open later next week.   


Love Where you Live? Join the Dinton Litter Pick 

Updated 10 June 16:00

Residents across the borough are being urged to love where they live by joining the Ditnon litter Pick. Littering has increased during lockdown; as visitor numbers surged, so has the rubbish left behind. Now, the team at Dinton Pastures Country Park are asking locals to slam dunk the junk on their next visit. 


From Saturday 13th June, visitors can grab a litter picker and rubbish bag in the main Dinton car park, just next to Muddy Ducks Nursery. In line with Government guidance, equipment will be disinfected and volunteers are asked to use the gloves provided during their litter pick. Hand sanitiser will also be available and those getting involved are reminded to wash their hands before and afterwards. As with all park visitors, participants are also asked to maintain a 2 metre distance from others. 


Lake Access Reopens to Members but the Activity Centre Remains Closed

Updated 10 June 10:15

From Thursday 11th June we are reopening lake access for members with their own boats. The Activity Centre will remain fully closed (no access to toilets or changing rooms) at this time. Members have been sent an email with the access days and times along with a detailed list of temporary rules that must be adhered to whilst using the lake. All memberships have been extended to cover the number of days that we have been closed.


Social Distanced Gatherings and BBQ's

Updated 02 June 10:10

New guidance from Monday is that groups of up to six people from different households can gather but must stay socially distanced. This applies to everyone using the park. Groups larger than six will be dispersed by our Estate Team, Social Distance Marshals and the Police Community Support Officers who are helping us patrol. 


We would like to remind everyone that we do not allow BBQ's on any of our sites. They are a fire risk, danger to wildlife damage the ground on which they sit. We will extinguish any BBQ's lit on site. 


If you are out in the park to enjoy a picnic, please take your litter home with you and recycle where possible. 


We urge you to keep visiting outside of our peak times, before 10am and after 4pm for a more enjoyable visit. 


The car parks get full quickly on hot days, and once they are at capacity gates will be closed. If you have pre-booked Adventure Golf, we suggest that you park at the quieter Activity Centre Car park off of Sandford Lane and walk down.


We are experiencing high demand across the Country Parks

Updated 26 May 13:00

We are limiting car parking to our main car parks, and keeping overflows closed. We are doing this to help everyone maintain good social distancing. 


We are regularly closing the main gates around 10 -11am daily due to us reaching capacity. During this time we are simply waving people on. You can try parking at the Activity Centre Car Park or Aviation Museum Car Park or simply come back at a later time. 


Despite the reduced number of parking bays the footpaths and trails are extremely busy during peak times. We would strongly advise people to spread the load and visit outside of our peak times i.e before 10am and after 4pm. The main car park gate opens at 7am and closes at 9pm on an automatic timer. 


We are also experiencing anti-social behavior across our sites. We would like to politely remind people to respect the park rules including the additional measures in place. 


The Dragonfly Cafe Reopens as a Take Away Service. 

The Public Toilets, Play Areas, Bird Hides and Activity Centre Remain Closed

Updated 22 May 22:00

From Saturday (23rd May) the Dragonfly Café will be serving hot and cold drinks, a small selection of their delicious homemade cake, snacks and ice lollies from the bay window as a take away service during the hours of 9am to 5pm daily.


Also on the menu will be the ever so popular warm sausage rolls, filled slices and Cornish pasties whilst stocks last! 


Transactions will be via contactless card payments only, so remember to bring your mobile device or card. We will also have one way queuing system, where strict social distancing must be maintained for the protection of everyone. 


Please take your litter home and recycle or use the bins provided. Our ranger team are working really hard to meet the demands of this ‘new feel service’ without adding additional litter picks to their duties. 


The car parks and footpaths get busy from 11am-3pm so please try and visit outside these hours for a more peaceful experience and help us spread the load and maintain good social distancing. The car parks are open from 6am - 9pm daily. 


Night Fishing, Adventure Golf and Jackson's Take Away Reopen

Updated 14 May 14:00

It has been confirmed that night fishing can resume across our sites. Syndicate members are no longer restricted to angling between dawn and dusk. 


Dinton Advanture Golf re-opens from Saturday 16th May, with a new online booking system to reduce infection risks. To book, visit:  https://www.dintonadventuregolf.co.uk/


From tomorrow (Friday 15th May) Jackson's California Lake will be resuming a take away service at California Country Park. Hot and cold drinks, snacks and ice creams will be served from the window hatch. This is in addition to their pre-order and delivery service of food that has been running throughout. To pre-order food for delivery or collection phone 0118 9730776. The service will be available Wednesday - Sunday 9am-4pm. For more information and the view the take away menu visit: www.jacksonscalifornialake.com


The Dragonfly Cafe at Dinton Pastures Country Park remains closed at this time. 



Countryside Car Parks, Day Fishing and Disc Golf Re-Open

Updated 13 May 14:00 

Stay Alert - Control the Virus - Save Lives 

We have re-opened our car parks, with limited spaces at Dinton Pastures and California Country Parks. At Dinton Pastures, the main Dinton car park, along with the Activity Centre and Aviation car parks are now open, providing 200 car parking spaces. To ensure visitor numbers remain manageable and aid social distancing, the overflow car parks will not open at this stage. The two main car parks will also open at California Country Park, providing 100 parking spaces. The overflow car parks will also remain closed at this site. Cafes, toilets and play areas will remain closed at both sites.

 

The smaller Countryside Service car parks at Rook’s Nest Woods and Keephatch Meadows are also now open to the public. Heathlake is currently undergoing resurfacing work and will open at a later date.

 

Other activities that will open include day fishing which will start again at both sites. In addition, Disc Golf will also re-start on Lea Heath, and will be open to individuals and same family groups.

 

Social distancing marshals will be present at both country parks to encourage visitors to keep a safe 2 metre distance from one another. If the car parks are full, marshals will be waving cars to pass and not stop. Visitors are reminded to respect the marshals and to not park on nearby roads or side streets but to return at a quieter time to use the country park. 


If visitor numbers are too high and social distancing guidelines are not being adhered to, then we will reserve the right to close the car parks again, as safety of our staff and our residents remains of paramount importance.  



Consideration of the Prime Ministers address to the Nation on Sunday 10th May

Updated 11 May 09:30

Stay Alert - Control the Virus - Save Lives 

The Countryside Service are carefully considering the government advice and will be holding strategy meetings across Wokingham Borough Council about re opening certain facilities as a phased approach. We won't be making any announcements ahead of Wednesday when the ease on exercise restrictions are proposed by Government to be in place. 


Carparks Remain Closed

Updated 23 April 11:00

We have reviewed our decision to close the car parks at our popular country parks, Dinton Pastures and California Country Park, and decided to keep them closed for the time being. This decision has been made in partnership with Thames Valley Police, and is intended to keep people safe by encouraging them to stay at home, not make unnecessary journeys and ultimately to reduce the demand on the NHS and save lives. We will continue to review our decision in the weeks ahead to see if we can re-open the car parks whilst maintaining social distancing and public safety. 



Dinton pastures to close Sandford lane entrance

Updated 08 April 16:00

Despite the car park closures, a high number of people are continuing to ignore Government instructions and are making unnecessary journeys by driving to Dinton Pastures. Furthermore, cars are parking precariously along Sandford Lane and in some cases blocking emergency access to site.

 

We are regrettably left with no option but to take further steps to try and prohibit non-essential travel. As of tomorrow (09 April 20) the pedestrian entrances will be closed off to Dinton Pastures Country Park along Sandford Lane, however the Public Right of Way and other pedestrian entrances will remain open. This closure is in place to reduce temptation for those people who insist upon driving to Dinton as a destination day, morning, or afternoon out.

 

By ignoring guidance you are putting lives at risk. 


Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives. 


Thank you. 


Country Park Car Parks Closed

Updated 28 March 2020 11:00

All of our Country Park car parks and public toilets are closed until further notice. The move is in line with updated Government advice we have received that people should not be driving to their daily exercise and this includes not driving near to country parks and parking on residential roads. The restrictions will be enforceable by the police. Our country parks, nature parks (SANGs) and other parks remain open for walkers, joggers and cyclists provided they are maintaining social distance.


If you have a country park, parking season ticket, you will have receive an email explaining that we will be extending your existing permit once we know the length of the closure period.


For those customers whose permit has recently expired or is about to expire (up to 31st March 2020), there will be no extension offered. Please do not renew your season ticket until the car parks open again. If you have recently renewed your ticket please contact us.

For those with a season ticket in date during the closure period from 1st April 2020, we will automatically adjust your season ticket and you will receive an email notifying you that this has been actioned.

 

This is what we envisage depending on the length of the closure:

  1. Permits due to expire in the next 3 months – we will offer up to 3 months free permit when the scheme reopens.
  2. Permits due to expire between 3 - 6 months’ time - we will either extend these permits if the scheme reopens during this time frame or provide 3 - 6 months free on a new permit at the appropriate renewal time.
  3. Permits expiring in 6 months’ time or over - no changes at this time, but we will extend the permit by the period of lost use.

 


Vehicle to Muddy Ducks Nursery for key workers to drop off and collect their children will need to be pre-arranged directly with Muddy Ducks.


In addition to the car parks, our public toilets at Dinton Pastuers and California Country Parks are also now closed. 


Bird Hides Closed 

Updated 28 March 2020 

The bird hides at Dinton and Levell's Lake are closed as of this morning, due to excess use and the confined space in which this activity takes place. 


Dinton Activity Center and Fisheries Closed 

Updated 24 March 2020 

We closed Dinton Activity Centre, ceased Fishing on all of our sites and postponed access to Berkshire Disc Golf Club on the 24th March. 


We will constantly review our What’s On events program and will be making cancellations on a rolling basis until further notice. Events cancelled at the moment are the Canoe Tours, Easter Eggstraganza and our Family Fun Weekend. Barnes Fitness have also cancelled the Wokingham 5/10Km event, which was scheduled to run next weekend. 


Customers who have booked onto activities and events at Dinton Activity Centre, will receive cancellation notifications as cancellations are made. Those customers will be given 12 months to re-book their activities. This is an additional six months on top of the standard six month period listed in our Terms and Conditions. 


Play Areas Closed

Updated 23 March 2020 

The play Areas at Dinton and California Country Parks closed during the he afternoon of Monday 23rd March.


All of the above is under constant review, and is subject to change at short notice.

 

Additional measures have been taken to ensure everyone’s safety, including:

  • Closure of Country Park Public Toilets
  • Closure of Dinton Activity Centre Building
  • Cancellation of Dinton Activity Centre activities, courses and events
  •       Childrens School Holiday Activities
  •       School and Group Activities
  •       Youth, Adult and Family Event Program
  •       Private Land Hire Bookings for Events and Gatherings
  •       Private Room Hire Bookings for Events and Gatherings
  •       Dinton What’s On Events Program
  • Closure of the country parks play areas (Dinton and California Country Parks)
  • Closure of the country parks café’s - take away service only
  • We have postponed our volunteer groups and work parties
  • Hand sanitiser pumps and hand washing facilities at both country parks
  • Good practice signs are on display to help reduce cross contamination and promote effective and more regular hand washing
  • Social distancing banners across the country parks
  • Social distancing posters are displayed around all sites
  • All pedestrian gates to sites have been removed or locked / tied open to reduce the need for walkers to touch common points. 
  • Additional, twice daily cleaning of common ‘touch points’ (e.g. ticket machines, door handles, light switches etc) across our sites. 
  • Staff operating the facilities will be reminded that if they are suffering from any symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, high temperature then they are to go home and self-isolate. Equally if anyone in their household is displaying, this isolation must also take place.