‘I’m ecstatic’ – people venture outside as the Lincolnshire lockdown finally eases

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People have been making the most of being able do the things they love once again after the Government eased some lockdown restrictions.

Golf courses and garden centres re-opened on Wednesday, May 13 and people can now go outdoors for unlimited exercise, meet one other person they don’t live with while social distancing and drive to other locations for exercise.

Club captain Michael Doran, 63, was the first player to tee off at Lincoln Golf Centre in Thorpe-on-the-Hill on Wednesday morning before enjoying a round of golf with Stewart Lipscombe-Ridley, 69.

Mr Doran said: “It’s great to be able to play again. I’ve not had a game since March 23.

“It’s the easiest sport in the world in terms of social distancing because you can just have two people playing who keep 2m apart and you never hit the ball in the same place.”

Paul Logan
(Image: Paul Whitelam)

Paul Logan, the club’s golf professional, explained that staggered tee-off times at 10m minute intervals are pre-booked over the phone and that the course is offering nine holes only.

He said: “The biggest challenge has been keeping the grass short as the weather’s been quite wet and warm and then we had a period of no rain.

“We have been here for 18 years and the grass has never grown so well.”

Jack Ross and Keith Hayes
(Image: Paul Whitelam)

Jack Ross, 81, who lives in Lincoln’s West End, was delighted to be back playing at Carholme Golf Club in Lincoln.

He said: “I’m really pleased to be back – I’m ecstatic.”

His golfing partner Keith Hayes, 73, of Shearwater Road, Lincoln, said: “It’s a relief. Being stuck in the house has been really restrictive and this feels like a bit of freedom.”

Michael Doran and Stewart Lipscombe-Ridley.
(Image: Paul Whitelam)

Over at Whisby Garden Centre, a steady flow of customers were picking up plants and bags of compost as the business re-opened with social distancing signs on the floor and staff wearing masks and gloves.

Karen Nash, 60, from Birchwood, was hoping to buy a peony bush.

She said: “What I’ve missed is not being able to come here for inspiration.”

Graham Degg
(Image: Paul Whitelam)

Customer Graham Degg, 66, from Whisby, bought a growbag for his tomato plants.

He said: “I’m just getting the essentials for gardening. What gets me is that you could get all this stuff from Asda but garden centres weren’t allowed to trade.”

But under-manager Meena Davis was philosophical about it.

She said: “I think the Government has tried to do what’s right. I get that supermarkets are selling plants because if they didn’t, the growers would have to bin plants that could not be sold.

“Luckily for us the weather was not right and we had not ordered all of our bedding plants and we were able to look after what we did have.”

Meena added: “It is really good to be open but the important thing is making sure our staff and customers are safe.”

Hannah Green
(Image: Paul Whitelam)

Hannah Green, who works on the garden centre displays, said she is really pleased to be back at work.

She said: “We’ve had a lot of our customers saying how pleased they are that we are open and how amazing the plants look.”

People have also been getting out and about and exploring the great outdoors in parks in Lincoln.

Rachel Garner, 29, and fiance Matt Ragless, 34, swapped walks around Nettleham for a trip to Hartsholme Country Park.

Rachel, who is furloughed from her job in property management, said: “We’ve only been able to walk around the village before now and we decided to come to Hartsholme for a change of scenery.”

Matt, who is on furlough from his job in construction management, said: “The biggest thing for me is only being allowed to meet friends and family in a park.

“I’ve arranged to see my dad on Saturday morning and we’ll talk to each other from 2m apart.”

Dog trainer Chaz Worrall said the park felt busier than usual on Wednesday morning.

He said: “The top field was like Piccadilly circus with a mix of dog walkers and people going for walks.

“There was definitely a different atmosphere. People were a bit freer and more bubbly.”

Over in Boultham Park, James and Michelle Hollamby were out with son Ethan, five.

James, 49, a lorry driver, said that they would still only be going out for exercise once a day and only shopping once a week.

He said: “We just want to keep doing what what we are doing. Germany and Italy are facing a second spike after easing some of their lockdown measures.

“When the schools go back in June, Ethan’s in that category and we have not decided if we want him to go back.”


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