'Bloom rooms' created to help people enjoy socialising safely in park
Floral designs have been painted on the grass in Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury to help people stay safe while enjoying themselves in the warm weather.
Taking inspiration from parks in New York, San Francisco and Canada, Kirklees Council is creating "bloom rooms" where 4m wide circles are sprayed onto the grass to create a flower design.
The circular petals are designed to make it easier for people to continue to socially distance from strangers and make a choice about how close they feel comfortable sitting to friends and loved ones.
Each petal has room for six people to sit 2m apart, or more people where the group feels comfortable getting closer.
As well as providing social distancing support, the flowers aim to encourage positive behaviour such as taking litter away, and not lighting fires or BBQs.
The designs will be topped up a couple of times over the coming weeks before the country heads hopefully towards the complete easing of restrictions. If the "bloom rooms" are successful in these parks, the council will consider expanding into other areas.
Coun Naheed Mather, who holds the environment portfolio on the council, said: “We all know that meeting outside is still the safest way to socialise with friends and family, and whilst we can’t guarantee the weather, hopefully we will see some sun over the next few weeks.
"When the sun comes out, our parks get busy and we want to help people to feel safe and enjoy the lovely green spaces on offer.
"The 'bloom rooms' are all about fun, we want people to be able to make informed choices about how they socialise and we hope that this is a gentle way to remind them to consider those around them, whilst still having a great time.
"We know there will be some people who may not yet have been vaccinated or are still understandably feeling concerned about the risks of Covid, and we hope these spaces will provide them with a bit of reassurance too."