All National Garden Scheme gardens are closed to the public until further notice.
… But please still donate?
An unprecedented start to the garden visiting season
Plans by the National Garden Scheme to launch the 2020 garden visiting season with 585 new gardens and a record number of planned openings were put on hold this weekend. Chief Executive George Plumptre instead announced on Sunday 22nd March that in the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, the charity’s Trustees had decided that all National Garden Scheme gardens would be closed to the public until further notice:
“In light of the current crisis and based on government advice for safeguarding the public, our Trustees have taken the difficult decision to ask all our garden owners not to open their gardens in aid of the National Garden Scheme until further notice. Managing social distancing and preventing people from travelling unacceptable distances has become a priority for the public good.”
This is the first time in the charity’s 93-year history that all the gardens have been closed. Even during the Second World War and the swine flu pandemic of 2009-2010 many gardens remained open.
Donations continue to contribute to the country’s health and wellbeing
Despite the current crisis National Garden Scheme Trustees are still able to commit in excess of £1 million to its beneficiary charities and to 44 community garden projects throughout England and Wales this year.
“The current climate of uncertainty and the loss for the foreseeable future of garden openings which provide 90% of our income, compounded by a poor start to the season with storms affecting many of the snowdrop gardens, means that the National Garden Scheme has been unable to distribute as much as it would have liked to our beneficiary charities,” said CEO, George Plumptre. “However, we are still donating in excess of £1 million to the majority of our nursing and health beneficiaries this spring and are delighted to be able to announce the tripling of funds to community gardens that make such a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of so many.”
George Plumptre, added: “It is thanks to the overwhelming generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, both past and present, that we have been able to raise such staggering amounts for charity by opening beautiful gardens to the public. Whether our beneficiaries provide community nursing and care, build gardens for patients with spinal injuries, care for individuals with a terminal illness, support people with mental health conditions or champion community cohesion, we are proud to continue funding the amazing work they do to change people’s lives for the better.
With a significant fall in income inevitable people can continue to support the National Garden Scheme and its beneficiaries by making a donation in lieu of the gardens they may have visited at: https://www.justgiving.com/ngs/Donate
About National Garden Scheme
The National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake.
Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors we have donated a total of £58 million to nursing and health charities, and made a donation of £3 million in 2019. Founded in 1927 to support district nurses, we are now the most significant charitable funder of nursing in the UK and our beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.
The National Garden Scheme doesn’t just open beautiful gardens for charity – we are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too. We fund projects which promote gardens and gardening as therapy, and in 2017, we launched our annual Gardens and Health Week to raise awareness of the topic.
To find your perfect garden, visit ngs.org.uk, download the National Garden Scheme app or purchase the National Garden Scheme’s Garden Visitor’s Handbook, which is published annually and available via ngs.org.uk/shop and at all good book retailers.
iceniPost have made the following collage of previous open gardens, and hopefully these will be back open to the public in the future.