Initially, only a tenth of the region’s 243 playparks will be back in action, but further reopenings will follow, though dozens were already facing the axe as part of plans by Scottish orders Council bosses to focus their resources on fewer, larger ones.
It’s now 98 days since playparks across the region and the rest of the country were closed on Monday, March 23, as the nationwide coronavirus lockdown came into force, but the Scottish Government announced on Thursday, June 18, that they can be reopened from today.
The council is warning that many youngsters face having to wait weeks for their local parks to reopen, however.
A spokesperson for the authority explained: “Safety inspections commenced last week, but with 243 playparks in the Borders, this is a significant task, with necessary grass-cutting and equipment cleansing also required before a playpark can safely reopen to the public.
“A phased approach has been adopted to complete the necessary work to open each playpark, which means not all facilities can reopen this week.”
Council chief executive Tracey Logan added: “We all welcome the relaxing of a number of restrictions, including the reopening of playparks from today.
“Our priority remains the safety of the public, and therefore we have decided to reopen our playparks on a phased basis to make sure we are fully satisfied they are safe to use.
“We have prioritised our new, large destination playparks which offer modern facilities and more opportunity to social distance.
“Signage will be in place at reopened playparks to remind groups about social distancing and hygiene guidance, and further information will follow on the next phase of inspections.”
Further details of playpark reopenings can be found at www.scotborders.gov.uk/coronavirus
The 24 playparks now open again include those at Ancrum, Shedden Park in Kelso, Harestanes, Yetholm’s sports pitch, Jedburgh Town Hall, Stow, Melrose’s Gibson Park, Selkirk’s Pringle Park and Bannerfield, Rowan Boland Public Park in Galashiels, Lauder’s Croft Road, Earlston Primary School, Oxton, Hawick’s Wilton Lodge Park, Denholm’s village green, St Ninian’s Haugh in Peebles, Walkerburn, Innerleithen’s Hall Street, Clovenfords Primary School and West Linton’s lower green.
The Berwickshire playparks open again are those at Coldstream’s Home Park, Duns Public Park, Coldingham Road and the Bantry in Eyemouth, Greenlaw and Chirnside’s Windram Park.