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Beauty spots in Shropshire and Wales deserted as stay-at-home rules are obeyed

By Sue Austin | Mid Wales | Environment | Published:

Normally the Easter holidays would herald a spike in visitors to our beauty spots across Shropshire and the Welsh border.

Empty benches alongside Ellesmere mere

Today they lie deserted as a clampdown on people driving to take their daily exercise takes hold.

Ellesmere's mereside and gardens should be full of families feeding the ducks and geese and playing on the swings. But the waterside car parking is empty, the ice-cream kiosk, toilets and play park locked, and a sign informs anglers that the water is closed.

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The mereside paths are still open for the people to live in the town to walk their dogs and exercise - and social distancing is very obvious.

The Forest Glen car park at the foot of the Wrekin has been shut following an influx of cars on the first weekend of the stay-at-home rules and now only those living within walking distance of Shropshire's landmark hill are able to climb it.

Llanrhaeadr Waterfall

The car park belongs to Shropshire Wildlife Trust, which has been asked to close those at other reserves to dissuade visitors.

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John Hughes from the Trust said there were a wealth of green spaces within walking distance for many people in Telford.

Across the border in Wales tourists are finally heeding the message not to travel.

Phillip Facey

The roads around Lake Vyrnwy are empty, the RSPB visitor centre and reserve closed.

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And with the four-mile long road from Llanrhaeadr up to its waterfall now closed, one of the seven wonders of Wales is deserted save for the farmers who have animals grazing there and the owners of the tea room and campsite.

Phil Facey from the tea room under the magnificent Llanrhaeadr waterfall says he hopes people will use the lockdown to connect with their spiritual side and with the planet that he says humankind is killing.

Incredible

His livelihood is on hold at the moment.

Yet he says he welcomes the time it is giving him to understand the special place he lives in.

"I have been here for 20 years but until now have never really appreciated just how special this place is. There is a different level of consciousness here," he said.

"The night skies have been incredible."

Lake Vyrnwy on lockdown

He said that the virus was sending an important message to humans all over the world.

"We haven't been looking after this world for many many years. We have been caught up in consumerism and the madness of materialism," he said.

"Everything on earth is connected in a very special way and we haven't been doing our housekeeping. We have stopped looking after the world, the environment and each other.

"This is an incredible chance to dig deeply and look within ourselves and what we have been doing to this planet.

Lake Vyrnwy hotel closed

"We have lost touch with our most special gift the earth that we live on.

"Mankind has polluted the home that he lives on and now we are having to face up to what we have done and work out how we can mend it.

"I believe this is a powerful message, a shot across the bows, that if we don't stop this madness we will be stopped."

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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