Good news! As long as the government doesn’t change its mind, we are looking at re-opening Friary Farm on Saturday 4th July from 10 a.m. I must stress that we have not had final confirmation of the go ahead yet, so it is still a provisional date.
We have, however, been working hard to put the right things in place for us to be given permission to re-open. We need to prove that we are a “COVID secure” business, and we will be given a certificate shortly to say that we are, and then we can be inspected at any time to make sure we are keeping up to standard. We will also be signing up to a new initiative next week which aims to show government that we are ready and safe.
Obviously, due to Covid 19, we have had to put in place both some new rules and some new procedures in order to comply with government restrictions, and most importantly to keep everyone on the park safe. We will adapt these new rules and procedures following any changes of government advice, but for the moment please see the below information in question and answer format, and please note, at the moment we are only going to be allowed to open on this basis, so please have a good read so you know what’s what!
As always, any comments or queries, please get in touch.
Who can come and use my caravan?
For the moment, the caravans can only be used by the actual owners and those that live with them in their household. The same rules that apply to your house, apply to your caravan. So, no other family, friends or visitors to use the vans until this restriction is relaxed. And certainly, no visitors or neighbours popping in for a cup of tea! As at home, you are allowed to chat outdoors in groups of maximum 6, and at a safe distance, but visitors are not allowed on the park, so this can only be with other caravan owners for the moment. Please note, your decking is considered part of your caravan, however big it is, so only the owners to use that too. If your caravan is owned jointly, or you have another unusual situation, you must please call and discuss it with Julian before coming.
What if I need to talk to staff or the office?
The office will be closed to all visitors and customers for the foreseeable future (except staff). If you have a general enquiry or request please either call, email or write to the office. We are operating a “virtual office” and all business / assistance will be given or arranged by phone or email. Office hours for everyday business are Monday to Friday 9a.m. to 1 p.m., however, the same office number will come through to Julian if you need after-hours or emergency help at any other time. A staff member will be available on Saturday between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to assist if you have a problem with your caravan etc, but will only come out if it needs attending to there and then. On Sundays there will be emergency / urgent issues cover only. Again, just dial the park number if you need us for any of these scenarios. You can also post notes or cheques through the new office letter box which will be situated on the wall by the bins – please do not give them to staff you see on the park, or ask them directly for everyday job requests.
If you do need to speak to staff about something more urgent (or just want to wave hello!) then you must do so outside and at a minimum distance of 2m. Please keep interactions with staff to a minimum and brief. The barn and its tools (including ladders) are out-of-bounds. The courtyard (where the office and barn is) is also going to be closed to everyone but staff and the holiday cottage guests.
If you need us to look at something inside your caravan, we will make an appointment with you to look when you are out. Under no circumstances will staff go in a caravan whilst someone is there, or has recently been vacated by someone unwell (even if not Covid), so please bear this in mind!
They have also been instructed to wear gloves, masks and other protective gear whilst in your caravan, however quick and easy the job is! This is to keep both them and yourselves safe. The same rules will be followed by the gas engineers and other contractors if needed.
What about the bin areas, dog bins, bike store, boat park and laundry?
The laundry is closed until further notice. You can access the bin areas, dog bins, bike stores, and boat park but only one person at a time please. Hand sanitizers will be put on the walls near the bins / doors, but not the dog bins, so please bring your own or wear gloves for using those. Please wash your hands before coming to any of these communal areas, wear gloves if you have them, and wash / sanitize afterwards.
The barn is strictly staff only at this time, and we regret that we cannot lend out tools or ladders, so please bring what you need or make a job request through the office.
Wherever you are on the park, social distancing of minimum 2m or 6’ must be observed at all times (except in your caravan!)
Gas bottles and payments?
All gas will be delivered to your van as usual (in a socially distanced way!). Gas deliveries will not be ‘on demand’ so please leave plenty of time when ordering. You should only order through the office or by leaving a note in the customer post box (next to the bins), and you do not have to pay for the gas at the time of ordering, instead, you can call and pay by debit card (Tuesdays to Fridays), send a cheque or pay by bank transfer later. We have made a check of how much gas each caravan has got, and if you are running low, we will contact you shortly.
We will not be accepting ANY cash for gas or any other payments this season. Card payments by phone, cheque or bank transfer only. You may put cheques or notes through the new office letter box situated near the bins, but any cash put through there will not be dealt with. Thank you for your co-operation.
Will all of the various paths in and out of Friary Farm and the dog walk areas be open?
Yes, however, due to the fact that the paths are often quite narrow, we have had to design a one-way system on most of them. This will be clearly sign posted, but here’s a summary, and a map is attached.
Paths going out of the park:- The path down to Friary Hills past the farmhouse, and the dog-walk path to the Manor Hotel.
Paths coming in to the park:- The path from Back Lane, and if you have no dog, the gate from Friary Hills into the Orchard area / field near the boat park.
The path from the Orchard area to the bin compound will be one way on the left of hedge path, and return will be down the Friary Farmhouse drive and then cut into the Orchard.
All other paths are either wide enough, or you can easily see if anyone is coming and wait your turn.
Here is a map to help you.
Are local amenities / pubs / takeaways / shops open?
At the time of writing only essential food shops and a few takeaways are open, and many of these only on a limited and restricted basis. The government is publishing plans to allow more businesses to re-open soon, so watch this space and the news!
It would be pertinent to bring as much of what you need as you can with you, in order to avoid local shops and supermarkets etc. being inundated or with long queues, which may cause conflict with the local community. To give you an idea – the local Spar shop is only allowing 4 people in at a time. Obviously, please do use the shops when you need to, it would just help to come prepared if you can.
Clearly, the pubs and restaurants will look forward to welcoming you when they are allowed to open, if you wish to use them.
Although the vast majority of local people want visitors to return to Norfolk, there are a few who are nervous about what an influx of visitors might bring with them, so please be considerate and respectful when out and about in the area. We need to both support and be supported by the local community at this difficult time, especially in the first few weeks of re-opening. We are communicating with the National Trust, Blakeney Parish Council, the police and the local MP Duncan Baker, who has been very supportive, letting them know when and how we are opening and what safety measures are in place.
What if I feel unwell or develop symptoms whilst at my caravan?
You must immediately self-isolate in your van, along with anyone also using your van, whether or not they also have symptoms. If you need medical advice call 111 (or 999 if an emergency). You must also get in touch with Lynette or Julian in the office by calling the park number. We will be pleased to help where it is needed.
Let’s all follow the rules, stay safe and look after each other, so you can all enjoy your caravans and North Norfolk again!
We look forward to seeing you on the park in July or when you are ready.
Any and all queries, please contact the office on 01263 740 393 (that’s the only number you need for everything!) or email@example.com
Julian, Lisa and team.