FORDINGBRIDGE Town Council has announced it is closing its parks and outdoor recreational facilities until further notice.

This includes the skate park, the children's play area in the recreation ground, Queens Gardens play area as well as Whitsbury Road and Flaxfields End play areas.

The main area bordering the river and the Memorial Gardens in the recreation ground will, for now continue, to have public access.

A statement from the council said: "Please be advised that with immediate effect and until further notice, Fordingbridge Town Council has made the difficult decision to close public access to the following parks and outdoor recreational facilities within the town."

It added: "The government has asked everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and non-essential travel, which is also known as social distancing. This measure aims to reduce close contact with others.

"As of this weekend, the government is strongly advising anyone over the age of 70, regardless of how well they are, people with underlying conditions and pregnant women to strictly adhere to the guidance on social distancing for the next 12 weeks. This is to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus and experiencing severe illness from it.

"This means you should avoid crowds and places where you are likely to come into close contact with others (within two metres).

"We would strongly ask you to respect this and maintain the recommended social distancing."