There’s lots of evidence to suggest that gardening helps us stay active and is good for our mental health. As springtime emerges with longer daylight hours, our gardens can offer us a breath of fresh air and much pleasure. Although we are currently allowed to travel from our homes for outdoor recreation, there is still plenty to be getting on with in our private outdoor spaces for those who continue to stay at home.
- Have a spring clean. Trim the lawn, or leave a wild patch to grow, prune the plants and get weeding.
- Order some seeds online for plant and vegetable growing.
- Make a mud kitchen for the kids. Use some crates, any old pots, pans and even old disconnected appliances so the kids can make lots of muddy concoctions!
- Boost your borders and give dried out soil a new lease of life with some home compost.
- Put out some water for thirsty birds and bugs emerging from their overwintering.
While we promote the benefits of being outside in your garden, we remind you that there are still Government guidelines in place to protect yourself and others during the Coronavirus pandemic. Follow this guidance to stay safe:
In England, you can now:
- spend time outdoors, including exercise, alone, with your household, or with one person who is not in your household as long as you stay two metres apart
- exercise more than once a day
- take part in other outdoor sports and activities, including fishing - on your own, with your household, or with one other person while adhering to social distancing rules
- drive to outdoor open spaces, including beaches and beauty spots, irrespective of distance - you should travel in a private vehicle, alone or with members of your own household
- go swimming in either lakes or the sea as part of daily exercise provided that social distancing guidelines are observed - you cannot use public indoor and outdoor pools
- all forms of water sports practiced on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed - you can continue to use towpaths for walking, running and cycling, being mindful of other users and people living in boats along the water
- There are no restrictions on how far you can travel to get to the countryside. However you should not stay overnight. Campsites and caravan parks are closed and you cannot visit a holiday or second home.
To stay safe, you must:
- take hygiene precautions when you are outside
- wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
- keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
- take hand sanitiser with you when you set off in case there are no handwashing facilities
When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Do not travel to different parts of the UK where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration.