Update: Following easing of the lockdown restrictions, the running track has been re-opened.
Runners should adhere to the 2m social distancing guidelines.
On Sunday lunchtime two Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) asked runners to leave the running track at Goldsmiths.
Charlie Jones was there, she described what happened:
There was approx 4 or 5 including myself running at the time, all running separately, where overtaking may occasionally need to be done there is plenty of room to give a wide berth so social distancing easy enough to comply with mid-run.
Two PCSOs appeared by the side of the track and flagged everyone down and said they are now closing the track as is signposted at the entrance, and said they were going to have to ask us all to leave.
I was unable to find the notice afterwards, although I did find a sign on the railings of a skatepark ramp.
On the instruction of Sussex Police, the Town Council have now placed notices around the perimeter of the running track informing the public the area is now closed.
Crowborough Councillor Gareth Owen-William, who was also there on Sunday, disagrees with the decision. He subsequently sent a Tweet to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government:
Here is the statement from the Town Clerk:
The Council did not initially close the running track field along with its’ play parks and other sports facilities because it wanted to continue to provide the area for exercise as per government guidelines.
Unfortunately we have been informed by Sussex Police that the running track area was busy at the weekend, that social distancing rules were not being adhered to and there were concerns that the site was being used collectively. In addition to this we were informed that there was a risk of contamination when people touched the gates and other surfaces in the area.
On Monday morning the council received an email from Sussex Police asking if it could arrange for notices to be placed on the site advising that it was shut and therefore not for use. It should be noted that the PCSO’s that patrolled the site at the weekend had to ask runners to move off the track as the track was being over-used.
They also noted people sunbathing and children, watched by parents, using the skate park despite notices stating it was shut.
Very regretfully the decision was taken to close the running track area. The rest of Goldsmiths recreation Ground remains open.
The numerous Country Parks and Recreation Grounds in Crowborough remain open for residents use. It is hoped that the Council will be able to continue to provide those open spaces for use throughout the duration of this terrible crisis.