Harrison RB and Dave Bowers bring you today’s essential local information for Petersfield and its villages.

They speak with Jordana Lloyd-Bailey, from SweatyMama East Hampshire, and run through what you can now do, and what you still can’t … 

Send information to team@petersfieldradio.uk or 01730 555 500.

We share information with the Petersfield Coronavirus Resource Hub, the Petersfield Voluntary Care Group and other local agencies.

Information transcript

It’s Wednesday and, from today, we start to enjoy the first relaxations to lockdown rules. Here are some of the things we can do for the first time in weeks:

We can go to Garden Centres – and we’ll highlight some that are open later in the programme.

We can go out for the day, and drive to our destination. So if you want to visit a favourite beauty spot that’s too far to walk to, you can, so long as you continue to follow the social distancing rules – two metres or more. Some public places remain closed to the public, though, as we’ll hear shortly.

If you cannot work from home, you may travel to a place of work with the agreement of your employer and if they can ensure it is safe to work there. But the Government says use a car, walk or cycle rather than use public transport wherever you can.

And you can arrange to meet someone from another household in a public place outside, so long as you keep two metres apart.

And you can do a range of outdoor sports which don’t involve close contact. These include fishing, once the owners of the water have agreed to reopen them, sailing and tennis.

Council officials were meeting yesterday afternoon to decide on all the leisure pursuits that can be restarted. We should know more about their decision later today, and discover whether the Heath Pond will reopen for anglers in accordance with the new Government guidelines. The council told us they will inform the Petersfield Heath Association first.

One place which always proves popular to visit when the weather’s good is the beach at Wittering. But the Wittering Estate remains closed, despite the Government’s announcement that travel is permitted to allow you to take exercise.

A statement said: “The safety of our staff, visitors and local community is our utmost priority and, over the past few weeks, we’ve been working on plans to gradually reopen the beach to support social distancing. However, in the meantime we remain closed until we update that it’s safe to reopen. We therefore kindly ask visitors to not visit the beach or, in any circumstances, park in the local community to do so.”

The South Downs National Park WILL reopen today, but officials request that, if you are visiting the park, please follow government guidelines to keep yourself safe by continuing strict social distancing and avoiding hotspots or popular areas.

You’re also reminded to keep on the paths and take litter home to avoid disturbing nesting grounds and other wildlife.

And the authority has warned that both Hampshire and Sussex Police will be carrying out regular patrols and fines will be issued to those who flout the government’s instructions.

One change which came into being on Monday, was the reopening of Petersfield’s Household Waste Recycling Centre – otherwise known as the ‘tip’ – but only for people who cannot store waste safely at home without causing a health risk.

We’re told there were long queues, particularly on Monday, with many not sure what could and couldn’t be dropped off. For the full regulations check the Hampshire County council website, but we can offer you a quick guide:

The website states: Most waste materials will be accepted. However, that DOES NOT include textiles and chargeable waste streams – such as soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos.

The reuse sales areas will remain closed. Where possible, please continue to store items of furniture or donate to local furniture charities via online platforms.

Please use what has been described recently as ‘good old British common sense’: Take the time to consider whether the visit is essential and be patient and considerate of others who live nearby and, of course, site staff.

The site currently has revised daily opening hours of 10am to 4pm.

An online programme of activities, challenges and information to help people stay connected to nature during the coronavirus lockdown has been launched by an environmental charity.

The South East Rivers Trust, which works to improve Hampshire rivers, has launched a new Facebook group – the SERT River Club – on which there is a wide variety of content to be accessed.

A key part of the SERT River Club content is a Tuesday webinar series called ‘The Story of Rivers’, which features 20-minute episodes explaining what healthy rivers look like, why we need them, the pressures and issues rivers are facing and what the trust is doing to bring them back to life.

Things are a little different at Treefrog Art HQ at the moment! Covid-19 has temporarily put a stop to after-school Art Clubs, holiday workshops, school projects, Saturday Afternoon Art and Drawing Upstairs at the Townhouse.

But it hasn’t dampened the creativity. With the help of very capable assistants, who are in school years three, five, seven and nine, Treefrog is posting daily Art Activities on its Instagram and Facebook pages. And these are projects designed with lockdown in mind.

They use simple materials, encouraging creativity with lots of recycling and upcycling. There’s outdoor and indoor art, quick art and ideas that take longer. Everything can be adapted to suit children of all ages, and all accompanying photographs are of art work that really is done by children rather than a masquerading grown-up.

Treefrog has also put together art bags for different projects.Every bag comes with absolutely everything you need to create some great art, along with step-by-step instructions and art materials you can use again and again. All Art Bags are deliverable within Petersfield, and slightly beyond. Email vickiostersen@gmail.com to order yours.

We referenced the reopening of garden centres at the top of the show, so here’s an update on two:

The Blue Diamond Garden Centre, at Rake, has announced that it’s reopening today and its opening times will remain as normal for the time being with any subsequent changes published on its website, bluediamond.gg.

Hillier’s Garden Centre, at Liss, will re-open tomorrow, from 10am to 4:30pm and it will continue to accept gift vouchers that expired on March 31.

Cafes and toilets will remain closed at both centres, and they’re both going to be limiting the number of customers allowed into the centres at any one time, as well as providing reminders on site for customers to keep two metres away from staff and other shoppers. They won’t be able to help you to your car with purchases either, but it’ll still be good to be able to visit garden centres again.

Tennis is one sport where regulations have been lifted and officials at Steep Lawn Tennis Club are to meet to decide on a plan for re-opening its courts following the new Government guidance. The club’s manager, Michele Mangham, told us the club expects further guidance from the Lawn Tennis Association which will inform its decision.

Performing arts school Italia Conti Petersfield has taken its classes online via Zoom so students are able to see the teacher and vice versa. The class prices are £6 per week for UNLIMITED sessions for children aged six-plus; and £2 per week for three-to five year olds on Saturday mornings. For more information, email info@italiacontipetersfield.co.uk.

We’ve been contacted by listener Mrs Wakefield who wants to alert everybody to a scam email she received telling her the direct debit for her TV licence had been ‘CANCELED’ (with one L) and that she needs to set up a new one.

Not only was the spelling a pointer, but the Wakefields don’t have a licence in their household as they are both over 75. It all looks very official, though, says Mrs W, but she was alert enough not to be fooled. We hope you are too … Thanks to Mrs Wakefield for bring it to our attention.

TRAVEL

Try to avoid Sussex Road for the rest of this week. County council contractors are working there and traffic control is in place.

Traffic control is in operation on Winchester Road today, near to the McDonald’s slip road as South-East Water carries out necessary works.

And don’t forget, the road through Stroud and Langrish is being dug up …

WEATHER

Today will be dry with some sunny spells, but with a maximum temperature of just 14 degrees.

It’s looking dry and settled through to the weekend, with variable cloud and sunny spells. Some chilly starts, with the possibility of a touch of frost in places but becoming warmer generally.