Why have you decided to close?
After further advice from the Government, and following the number of visitors who came when the Garden was open for free and that we anticipate coming in the future, we were concerned that safe levels of social distancing would just not be possible.
Many other outdoor spaces and gardens are being closed for the same reason. We were also concerned that with other spaces closing, the knock on visitor numbers that the Garden would receive if we stayed open would be huge.
We were hoping to keep the Garden open to provide an oasis of calm during these challenging times, but we must place safety above all and when it looked as though we could potentially become part of the problem, we could not keep the gates open. Our priorities must always be the care of our staff, the public and the Collection. When we could not be sure that we could do this properly, we had to close.
When do you plan to reopen?
We will follow government guidance on social gatherings to restrict the spread of Coronavirus. When that guidance changes then we will be delighted to open the Garden again.
How do you plan to look after the plant collection and maintain the Garden?
We will have a skeleton staff on rota to ensure the plants are looked after while the Garden is closed.
Will you be refunding, extending or pausing payments of Friends’ membership while you are closed?
We greatly appreciate the continued support of our Friends at this challenging time. A large proportion of our income is from admissions and so without this, but with the constant costs of maintaining our Collection, estate and staff, the support from our Friends is more valuable than ever.
While we are closed, we will continue to send out Friends’ enews and updates on top of the regular Garden updates that we will be posting on our digital channels.
We hope that our Friends will wish to continue their support of the Garden and renew their memberships in the usual way. However, should you wish to apply to extend your membership by a period equivalent to that for which we are closed, please contact the Friends Office once we have reopened to arrange for an extension.
Are all events cancelled?
All Garden events are cancelled until the end of June. This includes the Festival of Plants and the Easter Bingo family trail.
We will assess future events in the context of government advice over the next few weeks and months and take action accordingly. Please follow our social media channels and visit the website for updates.
If you have prebooked an event or tour, please be patient while we process cancellations and refunds. In the unlikely situation that you have not heard from us by two weeks before the event, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are there ways we can still stay connected to the Garden for our mental wellbeing?
The Garden will be posting pictures and films on our website and social media channels in the hope that we can share some of the beauty of springtime from inside the Garden gates.
This will include weekly ‘Wellness Walks’ where we will film a short walk around the Garden highlighting the seasonal sights and sounds, the Head of Horticulture’s Plant Picks, plus activities from our Learning team for young and old.
How can we continue to support the Garden?
A large proportion of the Garden’s income is from admission charges, which we will not be receiving for the foreseeable future, however we still need to maintain our Collection, estate and pay our staff’s wages during this time. We would like to thank our Friends for their important support at this time and if you would like to make a donation to support the maintenance of the Garden, please click here.