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Beauty spot to be closed to public once a week, so children can exercise

PUBLISHED: 14:14 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:37 05 May 2020

Thorpe Plantation will be closed to the public on Thursdays, so children with special educational needs and disabilities can exercise. Pic: Broadland District Council.

Thorpe Plantation will be closed to the public on Thursdays, so children with special educational needs and disabilities can exercise. Pic: Broadland District Council.

Broadland District Council

Children with special educational needs and disabilities are being offered the chance of a dedicated hour of their very own at one of Norfolk’s open spaces.

John Fisher, Broadland district councillor and Thorpe St Andrew town mayor. Pic: Broadland District Council.John Fisher, Broadland district councillor and Thorpe St Andrew town mayor. Pic: Broadland District Council.

The tree plantation at Thorpe St Andrew, on the edge of Norwich, will be shut to the rest of the public every Thursday, so the youngsters can get fresh air and exercise during the coronavirus lockdown.

Thorpe St Andrew Town Council came up with the idea because they were worried about the impact on families and children with special needs and disabilities during the pandemic.

It can be difficult for such youngsters to exercise in other places, while staying safe and socially distanced from other people.

The closure of the plantation to the rest of the public on Thursdays will mean the youngsters can spend time in the woodland in a safe and enclosed area, without worrying about other people coming and going or leaving the gates open.

MORE: Toys bring lockdown joy for children with special needs during lockdown



Broadland district councillor and Thorpe St Andrew town mayor John Fisher said: “The government have recognised the impact of the lockdown rules on many SEND children and their families, who are likely to be experiencing greater challenges during this time.

“We, as a council, were keen to ensure that we were doing all we can to help them get the fresh air and exercise they and all children need when growing up.

“We know there is a shortage of suitable spaces and felt by allotting one day a week of this beautiful and peaceful open space we could help support them during this difficult time.

“The plantation contains a rich variety of trees, along with diverse plant life which makes it one of the most popular areas for families to visit in the town.

“It will provide a wide range of stimulation for children in a safe parkland environment.”

Families will be able to book one hour slots at the plantation on Thursdays.

All requests should be made to thomas.foreman@thorpestandrew-tc.gov.uk

Other visitors to the area are being asked to avoid the plantation on those Thursdays until further notice.

Dogs will continue to be banned from the site to prevent any risks to families caused by dog fouling.

MORE: Fears Norfolk children ‘being left behind’ due to lockdown digital divide


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