Great Britain

Families flock to beauty spots in the sunshine

Families have been flocking to beauty spots across Staffordshire to enjoy the sunshine as temperatures soared this weekend.

Parks and countryside spots were busy cross the county and in neighbouring Derbyshire as people headed out in their droves walking, cycling and dog walking, all making the most of the sunny, warmer weather.

Among top destinations where parks around Stafford. Norbury Junction along the Shropshire Union Canal near the town was packed with families, cyclists and dog walkers along the canal towpaths and at the junction area. The tearooms, which was doing takeaway drinks, was very busy.

Victoria Park in Stafford town centre was packed with people sitting around the bowling green on benches chatting and enjoying takeaway drinks from the park's cafe.

Our reporter said all those out in the sunshine appeared to be sticking to social distancing rules during lockdown.

However, yesterday at Central Forest Park, in Hanley, one of the biggest parks in Stoke-on-Trent, one local resident felt people were not sticking to social distancing rules.

She told StokeonTrentLive said: "I was walking past on my way home and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I couldn’t believe how many people I saw. There appeared to be no social distancing whatsoever. They were all ages."

Current coronavirus rules mean people 'must stay at home'. Exercise can only be taken with members of your own household, or support bubble. Exercise is also permitted with one other person as long as they stay two metres apart.

Staffordshire County Council cabinet member for health Dr Johnny McMahon said: "Schools are returning on 8 March and plans to slowly return to normality are in place. However, we plead with Staffordshire residents to remain cautious.

"The latest virus data shows how quick things can change - not all areas of the county are showing cases falling and we are still midway through screening for the South African strain.

"Relaxing of the rules must be treated with extreme caution and be a gradual process – we cannot allow ourselves to become impatient.

"The current lockdown rules are still in place. Please stick to them, get tested regularly and take the vaccination when it is offered to you. This cautious approach will lead us slowly - and most important of all - safely back to the normality we all crave."

Weather forecasters are predicting a change in the weather this week though, with it clouding over tomorrow and Tuesday, with rain expected on Wednesday in Stafford, Burton and Stoke.

The Met Office predicts in Staffordshire, it will be cloudy on Tuesday morning before sunny spells later with clouds and showers on Wednesday.

More clouds are expected on Thursday with patchy light rain or drizzle with a potential for frost and fog formation overnight.

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