A COUPLE of popular tourist destinations will reopen later this week having been closed for nearly two months.

Essex County Council has confirmed both Great Notley Country Park and Cressing Temple Barns will reopen to the public on Thursday.

The two beauty spots have been closed to visitors since the coronavirus pandemic began, with only public right of ways available for use.

But the closures have now been lifted as part of an overall plan to start easing lockdown restrictions.

Essex County councillor Simon Walsh, who is responsible for public parks, said: "I know the opening of Essex Country Parks will be a welcome announcement for many Essex residents, who appreciate the chance to spend time outdoors in our beautiful Essex parks.

"Now more than ever, we have seen how spending time outdoors can be beneficial for our physical and mental health.

"We have taken the time to consider how we can safely open the parks and ensure social distancing rules can be followed and are now in a position where we can open, with some adjustments.

"Visitors are asked to plan for their visit and consider how they can enjoy our parks in the safest way – this might be considering if they could walk to their local park rather than drive, downloading the parking payment app MiPermit, or avoiding busy times.

"We also ask visitors to ensure they do not park illegally or in unsafe locations to access the park as this puts pressures on local highways services.

"We will continually monitoring the situation and if social distancing cannot be maintained and we are worried about the safety of visitors or our staff we will have to put in place further restrictions”

Both Notley Country Park and Cressing Temple will open at 9am and close at 5pm each day.

The sky ropes at the country park will however remain closed for the foreseeable future.