The University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum have both reopened to the public following their temporary closure in March in response to the COVID crisis. The garden was officially reopened today by Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.
Both sites are now welcoming visitors but with a new pre-booking system, social distancing and special measures in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. At the botanic garden, social distancing markings and signage are present across the sites and hand sanitiser is available upon entry and exit. In the interest of public safety, the shop, toilet facilities, glasshouses and herbarium room at the botanic garden will not be open, but the garden itself will be fully accessible. At the arboretum, social distancing markings and signage are also in place and the toilets and shop will also remain closed.
To allow for social distancing and prevent over-crowding, entry for both sites is now by pre-booked timed slots only, which can only be bought online in advance. Entry is every 30 minutes for a visit of up to two hours. Without a pre-booked time slot visitors will not be able to enter the botanic garden or the arboretum. Exceptions to this include friends, annual pass holders, University of Oxford or Oxford Brookes University students or staff members, registered disabled and carers.
Professor Simon Hiscock, director of the botanic garden and arboretum said: “We are thrilled to be able to welcome visitors back to the botanic garden and arboretum. Thanks to the hard work of our staff over the last few months, both sites are looking glorious so I would encourage visitors to come to enjoy the experience as we enter summer. Measures are in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors and we ask that all visitors respect the social distancing guidance.”