Toilets in parks - why closed?!

I was at the Horniman Gardens yesterday for the afternoon and noticed the toilets are still closed.

I also noticed MANY adults and children peeing (or worse - didn’t fancy checking) in the bushes because of this.

Toilets are fundamental and running water for handwashing right now has never been more important. Why are toilets still shut when guidance is people are now allowed to spend time outdoors?

I go running in Mayow Park and it’s the same issue there.

What can be done about this? I’m assuming it’s because the associated businesses are closed?

Seems crazy though at a time when hygiene is paramount… and people have been cooped up at home and need access to outdoor spaces for their well-being.

Has there been any discussion on this?


There were many public toilets years ago. People were too embarrassed o complain when they closed.

The only way to get them open is for people to complain.

If it is a social-distancing problem, they could at least have a working tap outside the building.

People seem to manage to queue outside shops with a 1 out 1 in arrangement. You’d think we could self organise around public loos too.

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Issues with public loo’s are, the public. The taps would need to be cleaned after every use. As would the cubicles. You then have social distancing issues. You may need someone in there to clean full time which would prove costly.


Completely agree with this reason. If you take the Horniman, for instance, they aren’t earning while they’ve been forced to closed, therefore most of their staff are probably on furlough. They done very well to reopen the gardens, given the circumstances. They also need the time to look at logistics prior to re-opening the toilets. How often will the toilets need cleaning? How can they protect their cleaning staff? This all takes time and careful planning.

The same goes for Brown and Green’s toilets in Mayow. It would be impossible to practice social distancing in that small space so they would have to close one of the toilets, leaving only one open. Plus if they could afford to recruit a full-time cleaner, they would have to close the toilet after each use to sanitise it.

Take hand sanitiser with you and go to the toilet before you leave the house. Which was always the advice my mother gave me… going to the toilet, not carry sanitiser.


That doesn’t answer the issue of people and kids peeing out in the open, which at least one open toilet would solve.

Being worried about the cleanliness of surfaces is fair, but can also apply to Sainsbury’s, gates, rails and any other surface the public can touch which we don’t expect someone to clean after we have touched. You just need to be sensible.

As a person who is stuck with my other half in a tiny studio flat, being out of the house is essential, we don’t have the luxury many people in FH do of having a garden. I’m assuming these people weeing everywhere are also just trying to save their sanity by being out and about.

I guess I’m just disappointed the council hasn’t seemingly done anything to support these businesses with opening facilities, because it’s so important to mental health being outside…and peeing outside is a public health issue.


We used to have attendants in public toilets. I was only referring elsewhere today to the lady who used to look after the toilets in Crystal Palace Park.

Other countries manage to have attendants - eg the public toilets in Venice, which are spotless and cleaned between each person. The toilets aren’t free but it’s a price worth paying.


I would have paid a tenner to go once yesterday. The first time seeing someone who isn’t my partner in two months, and we had to cut it short, because we both needed a loo and didn’t want to pee in the bushes like everyone else.

If it’s about money I’m sure people would tap to donate to use the loo. Everyone I know is so grateful to be able to sit in the park because they don’t have gardens. They would be overjoyed to pay for the option.


Living in the country we have the issue of people getting in their cars, driving for half an hour to an hour and then taking a walk etc. And forgetting there are no toilets. So local people have to deal with defecation in gardens, hedge rows and other areas. I can understand if it’s kids as their control isn’t great at the best of times. But these are adults. NO toilets are open so plan your trip out accordingly. I can’t believe an adult would have to relieve themselves in the Horniman Gardens unless they have A. A weak bladder. B. Travelled quite far. C. Not given it much thought. Come on people, think for goodness sake!!

Or wear Tenna pants :grin:


Any man who says they don’t slash in the bushes when the time calls has their pants on fire. I mean, sure, don’t take a leak up against a tree growing out of the pavement but if you’re caught short and you find a spot that affords privacy then have at it.

Anyone who can’t hold it in is taking a piss!:grin:


Sainsbury is a huge corporation whose only interest is making a profit. Horniman Museum is a charity who are struggling along with all the other charities in the culture sector who rely on visitors or an audience for income, and is focused on doing right for the community and their staff. You and I would probably be sensible about using public toilets but there are those that simply won’t be.

Little kids I can understand but adults! Unless you have a bladder problem then plan in advance. Getting out to save your sanity doesn’t equal needing to relieve yourself everywhere. I stand by the values my mother taught me.

Public spaces will start to reopen over the next few months. We just need to be patient and cross our legs.


I must say since lockdown I have stumbled (not literally I stress!) across at least 2 men a day peeing in bushes or against walls soon my daily stroll and so many roads now carry a whiff of human pee.
I must say that I during the hot weather when I drinking a lot of water found myself rushing back from my walk in Dulwich park cos I needed a wee…and I dont have a particularly weak bladder!

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Not just a local problem:

It defies logic that public toilets remain closed. There aren’t enough of them at the best of times, which is especially difficult for older men and pregnant women. I think the ill placed Turdis at Sydenham Station has been closed longer than it was open.

As well as the usual health risks, coronaviruses have been detected in urine and faeces (and semen) long after infected people are testing negative in conventional tests.

Think of the poor gardeners!

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€1.50 for the official council run loos in Venice. You can download a map of their locations and every one of them that I’ve used has had an attendant who cleans each stall between customers.

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Many years ago, I was caught out about 1.30am in the West End. The underground loos at the bottom of Carnaby St were open so with trepidation, I went in. I was amazed. They were clean, they had loo roll, hot water and soap. And they were free!

I went into Westminster’s web page to congratulate them ( and hopefully get the attendant some credit) and the automated acknowledgment came back assuming a complaint. :roll_eyes:


That was the women’s toilets. The men’s probably smelled like the Bhopal chemical disaster.

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