A 100-year-old Napier man who has walked to the top of a Taradale hill every morning for 45 years says he will not accept its closure during the Covid-19 lockdown.
And Trevor Page is not alone in his frustration.
Napier City Council has come under heavy criticism by regular walkers of Dolbel Reserve, Sugar Loaf, part of Maggie's Way and most recently Sturm's Gully since it shut them earlier this week.
The council cites public health concerns, saying stock gates touched by multiple people are a risk, and the paths on them are often so narrow and well-used that it's hard to practice social distancing.
Page, who makes the drive to Taradale from Tamatea in the very early hours of each morning to do his walk, has refused to let the Sugar Loaf closure signs stop him.
"They say walk, keep fit, you know, so I don't see what's wrong with walking up the Sugar Loaf," he told Hawke's Bay Today.
"I can understand mobs of people going up there but anyone that goes up at that hour of the morning is walking on their own," he said.
Page said he felt the exercise of the daily walk helped his health significantly and he would "absolutely" keep the routine he'd developed.
Others aren't defying the closure, but they are calling for the reserves to be re-opened.
Taradale resident Jo Field, who walks the reserves regularly, wrote to the council this week.
"When you're looking at something so extensive as what we are going through in Covid-19, it all comes back down to how we feel mentally and how we manage."
Field said there is a large community in the areas of Dolbel, Sugar Loaf and Maggie's Way who use the tracks frequently.
"On Sunday when I was walking up around Maggie's Way, I was seeing more people than I normally see, but it wasn't a risk because people understand they have to keep the distance and even on a narrow track they stop, they wait, they step to the side and that distance is happening."
Field said the lockdown could bring up feelings of grief and loss and it was important for people feeling that way to keep their routines, if they could safely.
"The last thing we want is to make people change again their routine that they've got set up and that's what the local government is doing," she said.
Napier City Council wrote on Facebook that it had closed the three reserves on March 30 due to a "huge increase in usage and the need to reduce the risk of transmission".
NCC said the reserves have gates that have to be touched to open and close them.
"Some gates can't be permanently left open due to either design, grazing animals or risk of unauthorised vehicles," the announcement said.
Sturms Gully was then shut on April 2 "due to the narrow tracks and stairs, making it difficult for people to maintain social distancing".
"There is a chance we will have to close more walkways or reserves to keep people safe," the announcement said.
NCC has asked if people know a route does not have enough space to follow social distancing, they choose another.
Field said it feels like the stock were taking precedence over people and as a compromise stock could be moved elsewhere or to just Sugar Loaf so that all of Maggie's Way could be open as an alternative.
A council spokesperson said: "It would be unfair to ask the person whose stock is on Dolbel to venture out during this level 4 lockdown to pick up his stock and transport them elsewhere, even if he could find someone willing to take them, as we are still officially in a drought."
"These are exceptional circumstances that we are working in and our priority is to protect our community and reduce the risk of community transmission, and we have tried to align our decision making with that of the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
"Many recreational opportunities across the country have been disrupted, and we're all looking forward to when things start to return to normal."
Taradale resident Scott Richardson said he understands the council's need to "do the right thing" but does not agree with the closure of the reserves.
He walks the reserves with his family weekly and often uses it himself daily.
When walking the area last week, he said there was a "steady traffic" of people but from what he had seen people were social distancing, stopping and giving space to others.
Richardson is the chairman of the Hawke's Bay Mountain Biking Club which has closed the Pan Pac Mountain Bike Park for health and safety reasons.
"I understand the need to have to close elements for recreation purposes, but we are talking about walking not biking."
He said access to the reserves was about both social wellbeing and physical exercise and is also concerned about stock being cited as a reason for closure.
"I don't think that's right," he said.
"It's part of the community's routine, it's a public resource and there's a lot of people who are used to having access and a lot of people who want to continue having access.
"I think it is important the community has a say in these matters," he said.