Outdoor water play to stay closed this summer

Published: 7 August 2020

Council House at night

Markeaton Park paddling pool, and the splash pad at Chaddesden Park, will stay closed for the summer season

Owing to safety concerns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Markeaton Park paddling pool, and the splash pad at Chaddesden Park, will stay closed for the summer season.

The Government recently announced that outdoor water parks and swimming pools can reopen, however a thorough review of Derby Parks’ water play facilities has revealed a number of constraints which make it impossible to operate them safely within current guidelines.

Duncan Cowie, Head of Parks and Active Living at Derby City Council, said: 

We know there are many families who love to use these facilities over the summer holidays – these parks are go-to destinations during the summer months, and we are sorry that our water play facilities are unable to reopen in a safe way. The last thing we would want to do is to put the public and staff at risk. There are lots of other facilities that we’ve worked hard to reopen in Derby’s parks – all play areas and outdoor gyms are now open, and at Markeaton Park you can play Footgolf, Disc Golf, Pitch and Putt and Mini Golf.

The layout of Markeaton Park paddling pool doesn’t allow the area to be closed off like a conventional swimming pool, making it difficult to regulate the number of people using the pool at any one time. On very hot days the pool is known to attract many hundreds of visitors, making safe social distancing within the current guidelines impossible.

At Chaddesden Park splash pad, the existing fencing is not sufficient to control access into the water play area, again making safe social distancing impossible to achieve.

In addition, uncertainty about Government timescales for reopening, and a lack of available contractors during lockdown, has meant the usual cleaning and maintenance has not been possible this year. This has to take place before the water play facilities can reopen.

View more information about what is available in the parks, including toilets, car parking and refreshments, plus guidance about precautions to follow when using play areas and other facilities.

Visitors are reminded that current Government restrictions allow you to meet outdoors with people from outside your household, in a group of up to six.

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