Thorpe St Andrew Town Council is changing the opening times of its tree plantation to help families who have children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We recognise that these families are likely to be experiencing greater challenges during the Coronavirus lockdown. Therefore, the Council is trialling a facility specifically for those who have SEND children who require exercise in an enclosed open space – ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.
The trial, which will start on Thursday 30th April 2020, will see the Council close its enclosed tree plantation every Thursday and take bookings from these families for 1 hour slots. During this time, the family will be able to lock the gate and enjoy the space and peacefulness of the tree plantation without worrying about other people entering or leaving the gates open.
The plantation contains a rich variety of trees, along with diverse plant life which makes it one of the most popular areas for families to visit in the town. This will provide a wide range of stimulation for children in a safe parkland environment.
We are asking our regular visitors to the area to avoid trying to access the plantation on these days, which will be advertised on the entrance gate. Dogs will continue to be banned from using the site to prevent any risks to families arising from dog fouling.
Town Mayor Cllr John Fisher explained “the government have recognised the impact lockdown rules will have on many SEND children, and as a Council we are keen to ensure that we are doing all we can to help these families. We know that there is a shortage of suitable spaces, and in line with government advice, we will be offering this facility to SEND children across the area”.