The National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, will re-open on 8 June, allowing pre-booked visitors to explore the outdoor elements of the 150-acre garden and woodland site. To ensure the safety of everyone on-site, the Arboretum is implementing a series of measures, in accordance with Government and industry guidance.
People will need to book their vehicle online before arriving at the Arboretum (£4 for four-wheeled vehicles, £0 for standard motorbikes) and a limited number of spaces will be available each day. Anyone without a valid booking will not be admitted to the site and the Arboretum is encouraging people to only book dates they can definitely attend on to ensure as many people are possible can enjoy the site after almost three months of closure.
An enhanced cleaning regime will be in operation in high footfall areas, including the toilets. Measures to keep the Arboretum team and visitors safe, including hygiene screens, will also be in place. Visitors are encouraged to wash their hands frequently during their outing and contactless payment options will be available.
Throughout their time at the Arboretum, visitors will need to maintain the social distancing guidelines mandated by the Government. Onsite signage, one-way pathways and queuing systems for facilities will also need be followed. Anyone required to remain in isolation due to current Government guidelines should not visit the Arboretum at this time.
Visitors will only be permitted to enter the grounds and use the toilets in the Remembrance Centre. The Armed Forces Memorial, one of the most iconic features of the Arboretum, will be open to visitors, however, capacity will be limited at any one time and a one-way system will be in place.
The shop, restaurant, coffee shop, exhibition galleries, chapel, playgrounds and Far East Prisoners of War building will remain closed until the Arboretum believes it is safe to re-open them and it is permitted to do so. The Daily Act of Remembrance will be relayed into the amphitheatre, but all other talks, tours and activities, including the land train, will not be operating. Scooters and wheelchairs will be unable for hire until further notice; visitors are encouraged to bring their own if required.
Philippa Rawlinson, Managing Director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Although undoubtedly for a much greater good, we were incredibly sad to close to our visitors in March. Over the past months the importance and benefits of enjoying green space have been brought to the fore, and I know that many people are as eager to visit our site, as we are to welcome them.
The introduction of a system requiring visitors to pre-book a visit is as unprecedented as our recent closure; however, it is an essential tool that will allow us to safely manage the number of people on-site and we will not be admitting people without a valid booking. I hope people will respect and comply with the new procedures we have put in place to protect our visitors and staff while enjoying their visit.”