North Devon’s play areas are set to be reopened in the coming weeks as coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased.

North Devon Council, which runs 20 play areas, two skate parks and a BMX track, is planning a phased roll out of reopenings, beginning with those used more often such as Bicclescombe Park in Ilfracombe and Pilton Park in Barnstaple.

The council says parks officers have been working hard on advice and measures to help make visits to play areas as safe as possible.

Signs will remind people to maintain social distancing, wash hands thoroughly before and after their visit, carry hand sanitiser where possible, not to eat and drink while using the play equipment and to put litter in bins.

Children should be supervised at all times and if an area is busy, parents should take them back another time.

The council has reminded parents that if they have a garden or safe space for their children to play in, they should continue to use that instead.

It said as with all outdoor equipment that can be accessed by multiple people, play areas cannot be guaranteed to be free of Covid-19.

Anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus must not visit a play area. Any coughs or sneezes should be caught with a tissue or wipe, and disposed of safely at home.

Council leader David Worden said: “With school holidays coming up soon, we want people to enjoy all the health benefits of outdoor play, however those who use these spaces must remember to stick to social distancing and hygiene guidelines, such as sanitising children’s hands both before and after using the play equipment.

“This is so important for the safety of everyone in our communities, as we try to minimise the spread of this virus.”

For the full list of play areas run by the council CLICK HERE .