Dorset's residents are heading to parks more, figures from Google suggest.

The data, for the week to May 16, covers the first period in which lockdown restrictions started to be eased in England.

Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement in the home, retail and recreation establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies, public transport hubs, workplaces, and parks and green spaces.

The weekly report shows an increase in activity within Dorset's parks during the week to May 16, compared to the week before – suggesting people are hanging out in public green spaces more regularly, or for longer periods of time.

Over the seven days, time spent in parks was 21% higher than during a five-week baseline period at the start of the year.

The week before, it had been 3% higher than usual levels.

In the first report, which covered the week to March 29 when the lockdown came into effect, park activity was down 16%.

The data suggests that the population in Dorset is staying away from green spaces less successfully than in other locations across the UK. Nationally, people were spending 3% more time than usual in parks last week.

During the week to May 16 the first measures to ease England's lockdown were brought in, as people were encouraged to return to workplaces if they could not work from home. They were also allowed to stay outdoors in public places, as long as social distancing measures were maintained.

The nationwide lockdown was implemented on March 23, with the Prime Minister telling people to stay home and only leave for “very limited” and essential purposes.

These included shopping for basic necessities, once-a-day exercise, medical needs and travelling to work, but only when it could not be done from home.

Meanwhile, four in 10 adults in Great Britain felt unsafe when going outside after the Government’s “stay at home” guidance was relaxed, official figures suggest.

The latest Office for National Statistics polling showed 41% felt unsafe or very unsafe due to the coronavirus, rising to 54% of those with an underlying health condition.

Despite the fears, around one in four adults said they had visited a park or green space over the past seven days, a sixth of whom did so to meet friends or family outside their immediate household.

The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey on the social impacts of Covid-19 was conducted on 995 adults in Great Britain between May 14 and 17.

In other locations in Dorset:

Visits to public transport hubs were 44% down on usual levels

Shopping centres and food outlets saw 71% less traffic than normal

Workplaces were 56% quieter than usual

Food shops and pharmacies saw 24% less traffic

People spent 19% more time at home than usual