Swanage Coastguard warning as lockdown eases

Following the relaxation of Covid rules, people will be allowed to take part in outdoor activities as long as they minimise travel or ‘stay local’ but Swanage Coastguard is advising that they build up their fitness levels first.

From Monday 29th March 2020, under the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, outdoor activities will be allowed including football and tennis but for the more adventurous types, they’ll also be able to resume more extreme activities like rock climbing.


Last summer, many indoor climbing walls were closed and people headed to the Purbeck coast to climb cliffs. However there were several incidents when people were not fit enough or experienced enough to complete the climb and had to be rescued by the coastguard and other emergency services.

Swanage coastguard team rescuing climber at Anvil Point

Swanage Coastguard rescue a climber from cliffs at Anvil Point near Swanage in 2020

“Consider your fitness levels”

Swanage Coastguard said:

“So things will start to change from Monday and to ensure we can still get places, the team has been out checking critical routes. Following strict guidelines, the teams throughout the area are starting to prepare for Easter.

“Please adhere to the Covid guidelines and ensure you protect frontline services. Ensure your activity is planned and prepared for. Consider your fitness levels and perhaps just do a little bit to build up your stamina. In a coastal emergency, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

An unusual sight at Swanage Town and Herston Football Club – a pristine football pitch at the end of the season!

Rule changes

The key changes that come into force on Monday 29th March 2020 include:

  • An end to the ‘stay at home’ order but “people should continue to minimise travel wherever possible, and should not be staying away from home overnight at this stage”
  • Outdoor gatherings (including private gardens) of either two households or up to six people of various households are allowed
  • Outdoor sports venues such as tennis courts and football training grounds can reopen
  • Adults and children can participate in formally organised outdoors sports
Tennis Courts at Beach Gardens

The tennis courts at Beach Gardens in Swanage

More freedom to get outside and be active

This means that residents who want to get outside and active as the summer season approaches will have more freedom to do so. Swanage’s Beach Gardens and the tennis courts will be open once again.

Swanage Town and Herston Football club teams will resume training from Wednesday 31st March 2021 at Day’s Park.

The Swans Reserves are entering a Division 1 cup competition which consists of two groups of five teams, with the winners and runners up of each group playing a semi final, then a final which starts on Saturday 3rd April 2021 away to Portland Town.

Newly relaid paths at Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park in Swanage

Roaming Rangers

While Durlston Castle will remain closed until the next phase, the country park walks will be open and anyone looking to enjoy an outdoors trip over Easter might come across some of the park’s Roaming Rangers.

These rangers will be there to welcome visitors between Friday 2nd April and Monday 5th April 2021

A spokesperson said:

“Roaming Rangers are the eyes and ears across the country park, supporting the ranger team, providing information and actively encouraging people to engage with nature.”

While Swanage Pier will remain closed to strollers until Monday 12th April 2021, outdoor activities that operate from the pier will be able to resume including diving and fishing trips.

The Swanage Sea Rowing Club and the Swanage Sailing Club members will be allowed back on the water.

The Swanage Sailing Club beach

The Swanage Sailing Club

Restrictions still in place

However, residents should be aware that not all coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on Monday 29th March 2021.

Measures still in place include:

  • A ban on overseas travel, with a few exceptions
  • Indoor meetings of people from outside a household or bubble are not allowed
  • Hospitality venues remain closed
  • People are advised to work from home where possible

Next steps

Phase two of lockdown easing is set to take place no sooner than Monday 12th April 2021.

  • This is when non-essential retail stores will be allowed to reopen, along with hairdressers, Swanage Library and community centres.
  • Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers outdoors, with indoor hospitality set to reopen at a later stage.
  • Self-contained accommodation including campsites and holiday lets where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.

Further information

  • More details of the UK Government’s roadmap out of lockdown is on its website

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