REGARDING the recent debate on whether it is okay to drive for exercise. While it’s obviously not in the public interest to drive many miles to a crowded beauty spot, surely there is no harm in driving a mile or so to a large open space (like Canford Heath as was mentioned in a comment).

In a space like that, it’s much easier to observe the social distancing rules, rather than being forced to pass close by other people on a pavement, as has been pointed out.

Really, the police are acting in a high-handed way if they are telling people that this is not allowed.

I believe that while we were told to stay close to home, there is no specific edict about not driving somewhere local – especially if you’re not using congested car parks and touching pay machines. And the argument “You could have an accident” – well, how spurious is that? Highly unlikely with the roads so much quieter than usual.

We don’t all have bikes. Many of us would find skipping very difficult (another suggestion) but are more than capable of a walk. And there’s another factor to exercise. It’s not solely about physical health, important as that is. It’s also about mental health.

It’s a fact that being in an open green space is much more conducive to good mental health than pounding concrete. Especially at this time of year! With all the new green shoots coming out on the trees, the blossom, the birdsong (migratory birds arriving every day), all this is far better for the soul than Tarmac.

The police need to retain the support of the public, and not act in a heavy-handed way.


Enfield Avenue, Poole

Please note: The current rules being enforced by the lockdown state you should only leave the house for very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home

Dorset Police officers are actively stopping vehicles to confirm the reasons for journeys with people urged not to make non essential trips in the car.

People have been urged to stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.

You can still go to the park for outdoor exercise once a day but only by yourself or within your household, not in groups.

We ask you to keep 2 metres apart from others outside your household at all times when outdoors.