Skateparks and BMX Pump track
The council owns and manages two skateparks in the district:
- Rock Skatepark, Barnstaple (floodlights available until 10pm daily)
- Benricks Skatepark, Ilfracombe (no floodlights)
The council also owns and manages a BMX pump track at Velator, Braunton
Both skateparks and the pump track are free to use.
Why are skateparks and BMX tracks closed during lockdown?
Government guidance says that outdoor sports facilities should close and that people should only be going out to exercise once a day in a household bubble or with one other person and it shouldn’t be for recreational activities or socialising. Over the course of the Covid restrictions and lockdowns, we have continued to see large groups of people congregating at our skateparks in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe and at the pump track. Clearly this indicates that people are mixing with lots of other households in close proximity to each other, heightening the risk of transmission of the virus.
The local police have become so concerned about the sheer numbers of people at these facilities that they have asked us to close them. Many other councils have made the same decision.
Nobody is banned from skateboarding or riding their bike but it should be done with members of your household or one other person and in areas where you are unlikely to come into contact with other groups of people.
We understand why users are disappointed but it is important to point out that these restrictions are being put in place to save lives and avoid pressurising our local hospital. With 1 in 3 people asymptomatic, nobody knows if they are carrying the virus or not and so the safest thing is simply to stay away from other people not in your household bubble. We encourage people to get out and about on their skateboards and bikes but in safe, wide, open spaces (of which there are endless numbers of them in North Devon), away from other people other than those in their own bubble.
If you would like to report a problem with either skatepark or the pump track, you can report it to us online via the button below.