All country parks in Essex are to re-open from Thursday although a number of restrictions will stay in place.

Social distancing rules must be followed and there will be changes to opening hours with children’s play equipment remaining off limits.

The decision comes after lockdown restrictions to outside spaces were eased slightly by the Government.

Essex County Council’s country parks team have been working over the past few weeks to put in place necessary safety measures to ensure the parks can open in line with Government guidance.

The parks, car parks and toilets will be open to the public, but the children’s play equipment, visitor centres and cafes will remain closed.

Visitors are asked to follow social distancing rules with particular attention to areas around car parks and toilets.

Among the parks reopening are Cudmore Grove in Mersea and Great Notley Country Park.

The council says it will monitor the situation and if social distancing cannot be maintained, restrictions will be put into place.