A new ‘no smoking’ rule has been implemented in country park play areas across Northamptonshire.
In a joint move between both councils in the county, signage is now up in country park play areas banning smoking.
The decision came after a concerned member of the public flagged the issue after witnessing smoking around her children.
This proposal for this signage was put forward by Public Health Northamptonshire and backed by both North and West Northamptonshire Councils.
Councillor Helen Harrison, executive member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing for North Northamptonshire Council said: “Our country parks play an important role in helping our residents explore the great outdoors with friends and family, and thousands flock to enjoy these areas every year, myself included.
“Despite our country parks being the epitome of a healthy and active lifestyle, exposure to second-hand smoke whilst enjoying these areas is sadly not uncommon, even in children’s play areas.”
The following parks will be adhering to the rule: Daventry, Watermeadow (in Towcester), Brixworth, Barnwell (in Oundle), Sywell, Fermyn Woods (in Brigstock) and Irchester.
Councillor Matt Golby, portfolio holder for Adult Care, Wellbeing and Health Integration for West Northamptonshire Council added: “It is really important to make smoking less visible to our younger residents.
“Implementing a no-smoking rule in all of our country parks children’s play areas ensures that these environments remain a safe and fun place for adults and children alike.”
According to Public Health Northamptonshire, there are approximately 96,000 smokers in the county.
The organisation says that every year in Northamptonshire smoking is responsible for more than 7,000 hospital admissions, 300,000 GP appointments, 30 house fires and more than 1,000 deaths.