Gardens reopening FAQs

This page was last updated on 11th June

Click on the arrow to the right of the question for the answer to dropdown.


What details does a garden that wishes to open need to supply?

• Date/s of opening
• Confirmation their admission price is as currently published
• Any directions given that there will be no yellow arrows or directional posters
• How many people can comfortably be in the garden at one time. That will be the numbers per time slot
• How long is the preferred time slot – 1 hour, 1½ hours, 2 hours
• How many time slots should there be and when do they start/finish. We are setting it up with 15 minutes between time slots, that allows one group to leave – and leave
in car – before the next lot arrive
• Will plants be sold
• Are people allowed to picnic – if yes, then add 30 minutes to time slots


If a garden is large must visitors leave at the end of their time slot

No, but it is important to control the flow of visitors arriving. So large gardens should give time slots during which visitors must arrive. Please make it clear when submitting details to us that visitors do not have to leave at the end of the time slot. We will then add suitable
wording to the entry on the website.


To whom is the information to be supplied

The information should be completed through an online form. If you have not been sent the link, please ask your County Team Member to forward it to you.


When does the information have to be submitted

We will be loading up the information for gardens opening as soon as soon as we can but it is a labour intensive process so please let us have details as soon as you can. We will be
selling tickets each Monday for the following ten days.


Can a garden open on a different day, or more days, than they originally published before Covid-19.

Yes, the information we are sent can replace their existing dates. So, for instance, gardens that had to cancel earlier in the year can move to have a ‘pop-up’ opening from June


How will the information about gardens opening sit on the website with those not opening

Messaging on the website will clearly steer people to gardens that are opening and confirm on a month by month basis that any garden not showing as available to visit is not opening and their individual profile will carry an appropriate message to this effect.


What is the position regarding county booklets that have been circulated

In the current general circumstances we feel it is extremely unlikely that anyone will pick up a booklet, find a garden and decide to visit. Currently that is not possible for most activities. The messaging on the website will make it clear that gardens can only be visited by prebooked tickets.


Is it compulsory for a garden to operate a one-way circuit and separate in-out gates

No, some gardens might feel it is the best way to proceed and we can supply arrows – see below. But where there is space a one-way system is not mandatory and a single gate will usually be sufficient except at large gardens where they have large numbers in a time-slot in which case in-out gates are recommended


Do tickets have to be checked on the gate

People will be asked to have their tickets available either printed off or on a phone, so they can be checked and this is preferable because it would include some kind of welcome.
However, it would work unmanned, just be done on trust


What posters and other material will you be circulating

We are preparing the following – please indicate when submitting your opening details if you would like any of the following sent to you:
• A4 poster to go at garden gate to show that tickets must be pre-purchased on the website.
• Arrows to help set up a one-way system.
• A poster for anyone wishing to sell plants – see below.


Can gardens sell plants

Yes so long as they follow certain guidelines. Plants should be set up so they can be purchased without human contact. So on a table etc with labels, prices etc. Payment can be either an honesty box or with a donation by text message or online. The poster will explain that if payment is by donation the purchaser cannot claim Gift Aid, because they are getting something in return

Note: we have been asked why plant sales can have an honesty box but not garden entrance. That is because we need to control numbers which can only be done with prepurchased tickets


Will the insurance cover be in place and does it cover if someone claims for contracting Covid-19 in a garden.

Yes and yes – all details have been discussed and agreed with our insurers


Should toilets be available

Not if access involves entering the house. If available elsewhere we suggest it is limited to emergencies only


What is the position with group gardens

They need to be taken on a case by case basis. If opening, the number of visitors is how
many they are happy to have in the village at one time. The bottom line is that group gardens will need to be policed by the group coordinator and others on the ground to monitor and control the flow of people from one garden to another. If this is not possible it
would be difficult for them to open. The guidelines on the website will explain that people might have to wait for access to a garden. Booking times for group gardens will probably be longer, so a good idea to suggest they are open for as long as possible. Finally, in groups that
are not able to open together, individual gardens may decide they want to open for small numbers in time slots, that is fine.


What is the position with by arrangement gardens

By arrangement gardens can either continue to take bookings in the usual way. Or, if they
would like to offer standard openings on specific dates (ideally no more than one or two
days per week) through the website we would need the information outlined in the first
question of this document.


What does a garden owner do if people just turn up.

If the time slots are full they turn them away. If they have space they can allow them in on the basis they pay for their admission there and then with a donation by text message – or, last resort if they have no phone, they make a donation online when they get home.


What is the position with commercial gardens

There will be some commercial gardens opening regularly for themselves and giving us one or more days. They will have their own system in place and if they want to use that for their open day for us that is fine. We will post the relevant details on their profile on the website. If they want to use our pre-booking/time-slot system for their day that is also fine


Will we supply hand sanitiser

We think it a good idea for gardens to have this available at or near their entry point. We think it is widely available so best to recommend that gardens have some and leave them to acquire it themselves – they can charge us if they like.


Are you sending out ‘cancelled’ posters or stickers for all gardens not opening

Given the logistics this would involve we would prefer not to and we will aim to ensure that the new messaging on web, social media, via eNewsletter etc makes it crystal clear that
many gardens are not open and if they don’t show opening details they are not opening.


Are picnics allowed

If a garden is large enough then yes and particularly if refreshments are not offered it would
be a nice option. If this is possible the time slots would need to be longer.


Will there be an announcement on the website and to the press

Yes. We will prepare a statement about gardens reopening that will be prominent on the website from next week. This will carry a suitable explanation about why some gardens are opening and others are not. We will also prepare statement that we will circulate to the media and to publicity and social media officers for them to also circulate and post.

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