National Trust to stay open for local access to parks, gardens, countryside and other outdoor sites during lockdown in England
Following the Government’s announcement of a four-week lockdown in England, the National Trust has today said that it intends to keep its gardens, parks and countryside sites open but it must close houses, shops and holiday accommodation in England from Thursday 5th November.
The Trust’s coast and countryside sites and carparks will remain open. It also intends to keep its gardens and parklands open with pre-booking to encourage local people to enjoy open space while adhering to the Government’s guidance and maintaining social distancing.
The charity’s Director General Hilary McGrady said: “We follow Government advice and guidance at all times, in each of the nations we serve.
“We know how important access to green space, nature and fresh air are to people, and we’ll do everything we can to provide them during the next phase. Our priorities will remain the safety and well-being of visitors, staff and volunteers.”
The Trust said where possible visitors would still be able to get take away food and drink and that outdoor play areas would remain open in line with Government guidance.
The Trust’s online shop will continue to offer customers gifts, garden and home wares, books and clothing.
Hilary continued: “We know this month is going to be tough for everyone and we want to give members and visitors as much pleasure, rest and enjoyment as we can.”
Wales is already a week into its fire break lockdown but will be reopening on 9th November and looks forward to welcoming visitors back to its places.
In Northern Ireland the charity has had to close its historic houses, and its cafes are only offering a take-away service. The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre has also had to close. Grounds, shops and holiday cottages however remain open.
The Trust was forced to make spending cuts and redundancies last month after the crippling financial effect of the coronavirus and has said it is likely to use the Government’s furlough scheme again to avoid further redundancies.
The Trust’s lockdown arrangements in England come into effect from Thursday 5th November.