LANCASHIRE County Council is closing its large countryside sites to reduce the transmission of coronavirus as borough's warn residents and their children to keep their distance in parks and playgrounds.

Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council's are keeping their green spaces open for the time being.

Lancashire County leader Cllr Geoff Driver announced that the local authority would shut popular venues including Beacon Fell, Spring Wood and Wycoller Country Park after people gathered in large numbers there at the weekend.

The smaller of its 83 countryside sites will remain open.

Burnley Borough is seeking to close of several of its 56 children's playground.

Cllr Driver said: "We would rather not have to prevent people from using our sites, but as many people are continuing to ignore the government advice on social distancing we feel we must now close them.

"Many of our smaller sites will continue to be accessible as there is no reasonable way to close them, however where possible we will close access to car parks."

Blackburn with Darwen Council's environment director Martin Eden said: “People do need to be sensible about keeping their distance from other people in our parks. We will be placing signs reminding people to keep a decent distance.”

Burnley Council's measures include:

* denying access to children's playground where possible while at others warning signs will be put up and equipment removed or disabled;

* closing park toilets and bowls pavilions;

* turning off floodlights on ball courts; and

* posting notices advising against the use of outdoor gym equipment.

Burnley Council leader Cllr Charlie Briggs said: "The council is not closing parks but we strongly urge people to use common sense."

Philip Mousdale, Pendle Council’s corporate director said: “Signs are going up in Pendle playgrounds advising people not to use them.There will also be signs in parks warning people to keep a safe distance from each other."

Cllr Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council, said: "At present, we are not looking to close our parks or play areas but will keep that under review and are waiting for guidance from government."