The over-ruling effects of Coronavirus continues to shadow all activity and it is a welcome relief that some relaxation of controls (recommendations) has occurred. Down Ampney has weathered the storm relatively easily and we are sure villagers are now looking forward to returning to what is being described as the ‘New Norm’.

One aspect of relaxation has seen the tennis courts opened and extensively used whilst confusion concerning the opening of the MUGA pitch caused disappointment to many who would wish to use it responsibly. We have jumped up and down to get it re-opened and, following advice from the government and police, we are now able to confirm that the pitch will be opened for use. There are still restrictions in line with ‘social distancing and hygiene’ and those using the area are asked to act responsibly. Otherwise we may be required to close it again.
Unfortunately the children’s play area remains closed and off limits as safety and deep cleaning is just not feasible

Work has started felling the trees in the avenue leading from the church to The Lodge. This was necessary as the trees had become dangerous. Alternative footpaths will be arranged to allow walkers to travel safely.

Returning to the problem of access and straying from footpaths, GCC footpaths Manager has agreed with Farmcare to set formal way-markers to define public rights of way across the airfield. Previous attempts to set up way-markers led to them being removed or vandalised. Those set up by GCC will be more robust and permanent.

It has been obvious that many more people have been walking in the area. One unpleasant result is the amount of dog’s mess being left around. We remind dog walkers that you are required to clear up the mess after your pet has performed!

Discussions are ongoing with the Co-op to establish responsibilities for maintenance and repair to drains, fields and property, within, and surrounding the village that the company retains. We hope that eventual attention to the sadly neglected infrastructure will be undertaken so as to improve visual and physical defects.

It is with sincere thanks to all volunteers who are now producing face masks that these will be freely available to our local residents. Details of availability will be posted on village notice boards, at the shop or on the village web site. We appreciate that a number of people have already bought their own masks but there are some who have not. We understand that the Government will be requiring all people who use public transport or visit areas where numbers of individuals gather, to wear facemasks which will be compulsory. This may last into next year. Whilst masks are re-useable, they do have a limited life, so the availability of masks will, we trust, be helpful.

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