Numbers going to Norfolk parks up two thirds on pre-Covid levels

Friends Tracie Hart and Jennifer Cooper with their children in Waterloo Park

The number of people enjoy Norfolk parks is up two third on pre-pandemic levels - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

The number of people making trips to Norfolk's parks is up more than two thirds on pre-pandemic levels, new data has revealed. 

But there are still fewer workers in the county's offices and other workplaces, while some passengers are still refraining from using public transport.

Families enjoying the weather in Waterloo Park, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

People enjoying a sunny day at Waterloo Park, Norwich - Credit: Archant

Fresh figures published by Google show parks and open spaces were used 68pc more frequently in the seven days up to May 14.

That compares to a five-week period recorded before the pandemic, from January to February 2020.

Across the UK, activity at parks is up by 35pc. 

The public has been encouraged at various stages of the pandemic to enjoy parks and outdoor spaces, while deprived of other freedoms. 

When lockdown was first introduced in March last year, one of the only valid reasons for leaving home was for one form of exercise per day. 

And the gradual relaxing of Covid rules has undoubtedly resulted in a new-found appreciation of the outdoors, where families and friends have often been able to reunite

Shoppers in Norwich staying safe in face masks.
Picture: Sonya Duncan

The number of people visiting retail or recreation venues in Norfolk is down 21pc on pre-Covid levels - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Unsurprisingly, the number of people using public transport in Norfolk remains lower than before, down by 33pc, but for the nation as a whole the decline is even steeper (40pc).  

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As of last month, 18pc fewer people were heading to their usual place of work, while 21pc less were visiting retail or recreation business.

Over the past few weeks, as the public has been adjusting to the further easing of lockdown restrictions as the government's roadmap progresses. 

As of April 12, businesses including shops, gyms and hairdressers were permitted by the government to reopen. 

Pubs and restaurants were allowed to welcome customers back to their outside spaces, while outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks made a welcome return. 

Moreover, from Monday (May 17), punters began gathering in limited numbers at indoor hospitality venues.

Colin Keatley (left) and his son William, who own and run the Fat Cat pub on West End Lane

People are now permitted to meet inside pubs, such as the Fat Cat in Norwich - Credit: Jess Coppins

Google's data, based on users' location history, also shows visits to supermarkets has slightly exceeded pre-pandemic levels, rising by 5pc.

The number of people spending time at home is also up by 7pc.

Food prices are on the rise but competitive supermarkets are keeping prises low for consumers, new f

The number of people visiting Norfolk's supermarkets is up slightly on pre-Covid levels - Credit: Ian Burt

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