Influential MP Caroline Lucas is backing a petition calling for golf courses to be opened up to the public for exercise. What do you think?
A high profile MP has backed a petition calling for golf courses to be opened up to the public for exercise.
Caroline Lucas, the Brighton Pavilion MP and former Green Party leader, told her more than 450,000 Twitter followers that it was “surely common sense” for them to be used to give people “more room to walk and run”.
It’s surely common sense to create as much open space as possible to allow socially-distanced exercise.
Let's open up golf courses to the public (there are 300,000 acres of them across UK) and give people more room to walk and run.
Sign the petition:https://t.co/5g2SwOdr4H'
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) April 6, 2020
Following widespread criticisms of people packing into parks and open spaces in good weather this weekend – in apparent flouting of Government ‘lockdown’ rules – a number subsequently closed their gates.
That led Sunday Times journalist Rosamund Urwin to tweet:
Rather than closing big parks so more people end up packed into the smaller parks, how about reclaiming green space in London, like this enormous, empty golf course? Turn the golf courses into exercise spots. More green space for everyone, social distancing made easier. pic.twitter.com/KMNesPzAIj
— Rosamund Urwin (@RosamundUrwin) April 4, 2020
Now a petition, started by Friends of the Earth campaigner Guy Shrubsole at Change.org and backed by Lucas, argues that: “Instead of closing public parks during coronavirus, we should be opening up private green spaces so there’s more room for everyone to exercise safely.
“There are 300,000 acres of courses across the UK – 10 times more space than we give to allotments – and 48,000 acres of golf courses within London and its Green Belt alone.
“Why not open them up to public for exercise, as journalist Rosamund Urwin and others have suggested?”
He added: “Rather than let our existing parks become overcrowded, it would be safer to open up more green spaces like golf courses.”
With clubs closed as a result of restrictions imposed by the pandemic, except for greenkeepers carrying out essential maintenance, Lucas’ intervention appears to be gathering support with, at the time of writing, her tweet having garnered than 3,000 likes.
But she also faced plenty of criticism from golfers and non-golfers alike.
Golf clubs like many sporting and leisure businesses are in the main private businesses and employ a large number of people.
Protecting this part of the economy and these jobs ready for when this crisis ends is paramount.
— DR R. 🇬🇧 (@Derekr1959) April 6, 2020
What do you think of the petition and Lucas’s support for it? Let us know in the comments or tweet us.
- Related: ‘We can’t let them win’ – Campaigner hits out at clubs opposing petition
- Related: ‘It will be a miracle if we survive until winter’
- Related: How will the three-week lockdown affect our courses?
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