Birmingham Botanical Gardens, in the heart of the Calthorpe Estate, re-opened its doors on 17 June for the first time since closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The independent charity which runs and maintains the 15 acres of grounds with lawns, seasonal borders and Grade II* listed glasshouses, has introduced a phased re-opening tomorrow programme to ensure the safety of visitors and staff at this historic, heritage attraction.
James Wheeler, chief executive of the Gardens, which is located in Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, said all visitors must book an allocated slot online, which will help to restrict numbers entering and to avoid queues, in accordance with Government advice and best practice.
“We are so pleased to be able to announce the re-opening of the Gardens, in line with Government advice, so that our members and visitors can enjoy our wide open spaces and tranquil environment while maintaining all-important social distancing,” he said.
“It’s well-known that having access to green spaces is good for mental health, so it’s never been more important for the Gardens to be available. It is why management and trustees have worked hard to ensure that all the necessary health and safety measures are in place for us to welcome people back.~
“During the lockdown period, our reduced team of gardeners has been busy maintaining the Gardens and undertaking maintenance work, so we’re really looking forward to sharing their hard work with our members and visitors. We’ve certainly missed everyone.”
Last month, the Gardens announced it had received a lifeline £47,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund to help it meet its running costs after closing on March 24 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The closure meant the charity received no revenue from entry fees, weddings and conferences.
The gardens, glasshouses, shops and plant sales are now open, although the tea room and children’s playground will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Cold drinks will be available to buy in the shop and visitors are more than welcome to take a picnic. Toilet facilities will be limited to those on the outside terrace and a one-in and one-out queuing system will be in operation. Regular deep cleaning will be undertaken and hand sanitisers will be located around the Gardens.
The Gardens will be open daily from 10am until 6pm, subject to change, and to ensure there is effective social distancing, everyone must book a time slot in advance: non-members must buy tickets online to secure their 15-minute entry slot, while members must also book their entry time online, using their membership number.
To book your ticket to visit the gardens, head to www.BirminghamBotanicalGardens.org.uk, which will take you to Eventbrite. Slots will be available for the next two-week period. If anyone needs help with the booking or has no access to the internet, they should call the Gardens on 0121 454 1860.
For the benefit of all, anyone with coronavirus symptoms or who has been in contact with anyone with the virus in the previous 14 days are asked not to visit the Gardens until the end of their quarantine period.