All 128 parks in Croydon are currently staying open amid the coronavirus lockdown even though some parks in the capital have closed down to stop people breaking social distancing rules.

The council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, councillor Oliver Lewis, said that he hopes it will remain this way.

He said: “Our experience has been that most residents have been using parks responsibly.

“In Croydon we are keen that they are going to stay open as long as possible.”

Over the sunny weekened, Brockwell Park in neighbouring Lambeth closed On Sunday (April 5) after people flocked to the park the previous day – it has since reopened.

On Sunday morning, MP for Croydon Central, Sarah Jones, urged Croydon residents not to gather in parks.

She Tweeted: “Really important message to everyone in Croydon – please do not congregate in parks, or sunbathe – keep moving, do your exercise and leave the parks.

“It’s so hard, but Matt Hancock was clear this morning that he will restrict us further if people can’t stick to the rules.”

She went on to say that having stewards in parks to move people on could be a good idea.

But cllr Lewis said this would be difficult to do in Croydon due to the number of parks and the fact some of them are very big.

“We had a number of neighbourhood safety officers out and about in some of out parks with the police,” he added.

“They told me the vast majority of Croydonians were behaving responsibly and weren’t in large groups – obviously there were small incidents where people wern’t respecting the government guidance.”

He said that some people have been reported using outdoor gym equipment.

All playgrounds in the borough have been locked so they are not used and outdoor gyms have been cordoned off.

Cllr Lewis added: “I want to thank everyone in Croydon who has enjoyed the sunshine this weekend and respected the rules.”

The secretary of state for communities, Robert Jenrick, told BBC Breakfast closing parks should be “an absolute last resort”.