This is what South Ribble Council say you can and can't do in Penwortham's Pear Tree Park

A park in Penwortham has been partially closed to tackle anti-social behaviour and help prevent coronavirus from spreading in South Ribble - this is what it means for families, children, dog walkers and those using it for exercise.

By Matthew Calderbank
Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 2:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 2:20 pm
A gathering in Pear Tree Park, off Leyland Road, Penwortham earlier this summer
A gathering in Pear Tree Park, off Leyland Road, Penwortham earlier this summer

It was reported yesterday that part of Pear Tree Park, also known as Middleforth Green, off Leyland Road, has been closed with immediate affect by South Ribble Borough Council.

Signs posted at its entrances warn that a section of the park is now off-limits and those caught flouting the order face fines of up to £500.

The borough council said a limited section of the park has been closed off (see red outline on picture). This is the section closest to the Pear Tree pub across the road and close to those homes which border the park.

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Only the section marked in red outline has been closed off due to groups gathering and drinking, says South Ribble Council

A spokesman for South Ribble Council said: "The closed-off section of the park is only a very small area behind residents’ homes.

"The Council do not want these residents’ suffering from excess noise, ASB, littering, or people gathering in large groups who are not socially distanced because this is both concerning and disruptive to local people and sends out the wrong message to others."

The Lancashire Post has sought clarification on what the partial closure means for those wanting to use the park for dog walks, picnics, play or exercise.

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Other concerns leading to the closure are littering and contaminated rubbish that could harm and infect other residents or council litter pickers

This is what South Ribble Council say

1. For clarification – the park is NOT closed.

2. Only a very small section of the park has been closed off (see area marked in red outline on map).

3. Why has it been closed off? The reason for this is anti-social behaviour.

A sign at the entrance of Pear Park, also known as Middleforth Green, off Leyland Road in Penwortham, which has been partially closed to the public

Large groups are gathering and drinking – so in turn, this then makes it a coronavirus concern because social distancing is not being observed.

So the reason for closing this small section of the park is two-fold: it is to eradicate anti-social behaviour and it is a preventative coronavirus measure to stop people gathering there in large crowds and flouting the social distancing guidance.

4. Other concerns are around littering and in turn, contaminated rubbish that could harm and infect other residents or council litter pickers. People drinking alcohol and behaving disrespectfully to local residents in the area is another reason for taking action.

5. Dog walkers CAN use the park. The footpaths are NOT closed. Children's playing, as well as walking, cycling and other forms of exercise are also permitted.

6. The penalty for contravention is a fine up to £500.