National Trust houses to close but parkland and grounds to open to the public for free during the Covid-19 crisis
By Jamie Hill - 19 March 2020
In a statement released by the National Trust, they will be closing all of their properties by this Friday but where they can will be keeping the grounds and their parklands open for free to the public.
Following yesterday’s announcement, The National Trust is continuing to work hard to keep open spaces accessible to people while it closes houses, shops and cafes to restrict the spread of coronavirus.
This will take time and we hope by this Friday (March 20) all properties will have a plan in place as to what will be available to the public. Many factors have to be considered when continuing to open, including whether the garden or park allows enough space for adequate social distancing.
We will try to keep as many open spaces available as possible but this is a changing situation and we are strictly following Government advice so please keep checking our website for updated information and always check the site before you visit any of our places.
The wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors remains our top concern.
The National Trust will, where possible, open as many of its gardens and parks for free, but close its houses, cafes and shops to help the nation fight the spread of the coronavirus.
The National Trust’s pay-for-entry sites including houses, cafes and shops, would close by this Friday (March 20).
McGrady said the charity would work hard to keep as many of the Trust’s gardens and parklands open, free of charge, alongside coast and countryside, to encourage the nation to enjoy open space, if appropriate, during the pandemic, while adhering to the government’s social distancing guidance.
Hilary McGrady said: “The National Trust was founded 125 years ago for the benefit of the entire nation. We want to honour our mission – to enable people and nature to thrive. Over the coming weeks we will do all that we can to keep on providing public benefit through caring for places and giving people access wherever possible.
“While we will close our indoor areas to help fight the spread of coronavirus, we recognise that people are likely to need access to open space and to nature, beauty and history."
A National Trust spokesperson said: “We are planning ahead, staying vigilant and following Government advice.
“We are making contingency plans and working closely with other partner organisations to ensure we can respond to a range of scenarios in order to maintain normal business for as long as possible.
“We have also been asking all our staff and volunteers to follow advice on regular handwashing.
“Staff and volunteers have access to occupational health services if they have any concerns and are kept up-to-date with the latest advice and information.”
Latest government information on coronavirus can be found on the Department for Health and Social Care’s website.