Coronavirus: phased reopening of parklands, gardens and nature reserves

The National Trust, English Heritage and RSPB are among a number of charities and organisations in the UK which have announced plans to begin the phased reopening of a number of parklands, gardens and nature reserves from the start of June.

Kinder Estate sign, Peak District National Park,UK

Updated 29th May 2020: We will post updates to this page regularly. To stay up-to-date with the latest government guidance, visit: gov.uk

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With a relaxing of government lockdown measures, many of the UK’s gardens, parklands, nature reserves and historic sites are set to begin a phased reopening, although strict social distancing measures will be in place and numbers of visitors limited to ensure safety.

Coronavirus: what is social distancing and self isolating?

South West Coast Path at Hooken Cliff heading towards Branscombe, Devon
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National Trust

From Wednesday, June 3, the National Trust will begin a phased and gradual reopening of a small number of its gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland. Over the coming weeks more places will begin reopening.

All the Trust’s houses, shops, holiday cottages and campsites remain closed in line with government guidelines. All car parks and properties in Wales remain closed in line with Welsh Government guidance.

The charity will begin to reopen gardens and open spaces in England and Northern Ireland where social distancing can be observed, and will open to around a third of their normal capacity at any one time.

Director General Hilary McGrady said: “We want to provide safe, local, welcoming spaces for people, and wherever possible we will open our gardens and parks, and coast and countryside car parks.

“The fresh air, bird song, big skies and open spaces people have missed will be there, but things will be very different, particularly at first. We want to thank people for their patience and support while we gradually begin reopening and welcoming our visitors.”

Full details, nationaltrust.org.uk/features/coronavirus-faqs

Corfe Castle. © Robert Harding/Getty
Corfe Castle. © Robert Harding/Getty

RHS

RHS Gardens to open on Monday 1 June

Four RHS Gardens – Wisley, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor – will reopen on 1 June at 10am under a pre-booking system.

In accordance wit government social distancing guidelines, all visitors will be required to pre-book a timed entry slot in advance of their visit and visitor numbers entering the gardens will be limited. rhs.org.uk/about-the-rhs/policies/coronavirus-statement


RSPB

All nature reserves in Scotland and Wales and the majority of nature reserves remain closed. However, the following sites (including car parks and some trails where applicable) are now open. This list will be updated regularly so please check before visiting a reserve, and follow all local government guidelines. rspb.org.uk

England

  • Aylesbeare Common
  • Lydden Valley
  • Wallasea
  • Dingle Marshes
  • North Warren and Aldringham Walks
  • Snape Warren
  • Wolves Wood
  • Berney Marshes
  • Buckenham Marshes
  • Frampton Marsh
  • Freiston Shore
  • Ham Wall
  • Sherwood forest
  • Stour Estuary
  • Geltsdale
  • Saltholme
  • Pagham Harbour and Medmerry
  • Blean Woods
  • Haweswater
  • Hodbarrow
  • St Bees Head
  • Campfield Marsh
  • Hesketh Out Marsh
  • Nene Washes

Northern Ireland

  • Portmore Lough
  • Belfast Window on Wildlife

It is best to check individual reserve pages, in case some are closed.

RSPB Newport Wetlands. © Michael Roberts/Getty
RSPB Newport Wetlands. © Michael Roberts/Getty

English Heritage

Is hoping to reopen some of its staffed sites from early July, in line with government guidance.

There’ll be several different phases of reopening, which will be updated regularly by the charity, but presently around 200 of our free-to-enter sites are now open, including places like Iron Bridge, Caister Roman Fort, Maiden Castle and many parts of Hadrian’s Wall.

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Sites are currently being adapted to meet government guidelines and new measures will be in place to make sure that everyone can observe social distancing.

Coronavirus: what is social distancing and self isolating?