The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced it is reopening its gardens tomorrow from 10am under a pre-booking system.
Visitors are being assured that the RHS’ foremost priority remains the health and safety of its members, visitors and staff. It will be doing everything possible to ensure all government social distancing measures are followed. The number of visitors entering the gardens will therefore be limited.
Safety measures being implemented at all four RHS gardens include:
- Strictly limited numbers of pre-booked tickets available for each day
- Restrictions on the number of customers allowed to shop at any one time, and a maximum of two people per household allowed into the garden centre together
- Separate entry and exit points to the gardens and garden centres where possible
- Floor markings to indicate appropriate distances while queuing in the garden centres and the garden entrances
- Screens at the welcome desks and checkouts to protect staff
- Hand sanitiser available to staff and visitors at strategic points
- Card transactions only – no cash payments
Anyone intending to visit must book in advance and ticket availability will be limited. Those who arrive at the gardens without a pre-booked will be asked to book for the next available session.
Areas within the gardens where it would be difficult to maintain social distancing will remain closed. This includes glasshouses, alpine houses, bird hides and play areas.
Sue Biggs, RHS director general, says: “We are delighted that the government has said it is safe to reopen our RHS gardens because it is proven that spending time outside in green open spaces surrounded by plants has an immensely positive effect on our health.
“We look forward to welcoming our members and visitors safely back from June 1 and to bringing the joy of plants, flowers, trees and nature back into people’s lives, which for so many will be a much needed tonic.
“We will of course be operating at a limited capacity and will have measures in place to ensure that all safety guidelines are followed because our number one priority is to support the government’s efforts to limit the spread of the virus.
“We are concerned that people will not pre-book tickets so a plea from me to anyone planning to visit an RHS garden is that it is imperative you book a timed slot in advance on the RHS website. Sadly, we will be turning away anyone who hasn’t pre-booked.
“And finally a huge thank you to all our members for your support and patience throughout this challenging time. As a charity, we couldn’t possibly have looked after our nationally important plant collections or kept our gardens looking beautiful over the past few months without your support so I wish you the most wonderful and enjoyable visits as you certainly deserve it!”