Facebook flurry as newly erected signs warn public off green space in Buckingham

University cites 'serious safety concerns' over unsupervised children in the water and large groups gathering

Monday, 16th August 2021, 4:36 pm
Updated Monday, 16th August 2021, 4:38 pm

Newly erected signs on a green space owned by the University of Buckingham have put local families into a flurry on social media.

The university has put up signs near the weir on the River Great Ouse, saying: 'Private Land. No Public Access'.

During the hot weather earlier this summer, many families enjoyed picnicking on the grass and paddling in the river.

The university has cited 'serious safety concerns'

Commenting on the Buckingham What Matters to You Facebook page, one person wrote: "What a joke! I got told off by a member of staff the other day for sitting down on the grass feeding the ducks (with my two young boys) and asked me to move on!"

Another said: "That’s really sad. Kids love picnics & paddling down there. I live near by & it’s so nice to see little ones playing in the water & having fun."

And another wrote; "Literally cannot believe this, this is one of the places I take my children too in Buckingham as do many other parents!!!!! Always clean up after ourselves so what is the problem? Let's start a petition!"

But another suggested antisocial behaviour may have led to the ban: "Unfortunately there have been large groups of 20+ people down there using the area and burning the grass with BBQs and leaving behind large amounts of rubbish. Large bits of stone have been thrown round also. I'm assuming that this is what has caused the decision and not the usual light use of the area by people. It is a huge shame as it's always lovely to see families down there with their children."

The new signs on university land have upset some local people

A University of Buckingham spokesman said: The path from Chandos Park to Station Road is a 'permissive' path, one which the university has given permission for local people to use and they are most welcome to go along it. The land on either side does belong to the university.

"Due to the pandemic lockdown, there have been an extremely high number of people staying in Buckingham instead of going away and using the parks and green areas much more than they usually do.

"This has resulted in some serious safety concerns for all those who use the area near the weir.

"There have been a lot of very large groups gathering and reports on a number of occasions of very young children in the water unsupervised.

"The university takes the issue of safety very seriously. As a result, access has had to be restricted.

"We understand this isn't a popular decision but the safety of all who use the area is paramount."