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Cars park round the Wrekin on first weekend of lockdown changes

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | News | Published:

Parking spaces were at a premium as the public flocked back to one of Shropshire's most popular walking spots on the first weekend since the lockdown restrictions were eased.

Cars on the approach to the Wrekin on Sunday

With people now allowed to travel as far as they want for exercise in England, cars lined the route up to the Wrekin this afternoon, with scores of visitors taking the chance to get out of the house.

Like other beauty spots across the county, the Wrekin car parks have been closed due to lockdown restrictions, like other beauty spots across the county.

Bikers congregated on the Wem to Whitchurch road on Sunday. Photo: Vicky Groom

Shropshire Council announced the reopening of its country parks last week but issued a message encouraging people not to visit – despite government regulations allowing them to do so.

The scenes at the Wrekin sparked concern from some over social distancing, and mirrored the situation prior to the government's decision to get tough over lockdown.

Ironbridge has also seen an influx of visitors over the weekend with local councillor Carolyn Healy blaming government messaging for the situation.

She said: "Stay home was a clear message. Of course we can’t stay home forever, but go back to work, have unlimited travel in England as long as you stay alert was always going to lead to the scenes we are seeing in places like Ironbridge today."

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There were busy scenes as people headed for a walk on the Wrekin

The Quarry in Shrewsbury was also noticeably busier over the weekend, with many taking the opportunity to visit the park for the first time in weeks.

Those who were there on Saturday were even treated to live music with a socially-distanced performance from a trio in the bandstand.

There have also been concerns about raised over large groups of motorcyclists seen stopping on rides through the county, with reports of bikers gathering between Wem and Whitchurch, as well as over the border in Powys.

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Police in Mid Wales, where the lockdown remains far more stringent, said: "Numerous groups of motorcycles & cars have been entering Dyfed Powys from England.

"Wales is still in lockdown following Welsh Government Covid-19 advice & regulations are being enforced where necessary!"

Meanwhile police shut down a "rave" at a Telford park on Saturday night after reports of up to 70 people gathering.

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