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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

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Thousands flock to Birmingham Botanical Gardens following re-opening

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MORE than 7600 visitors flocked to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the historic, heritage attraction, in the first month after re-opening its doors.

The Gardens, a charity that is based in Edgbaston, re-opened on June 17 after being closed for 13 weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic – and visitors have been snapping up allocated slots to enjoy the 15 acres of grounds.

James Wheeler, chief executive of the Gardens, which is located in Westbourne Road, said members and visitors have welcomed the opportunity to visit the attraction as it is large enough for them to social distance and enjoy a tranquil morning or afternoon out.

He said:

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of our members and visitors since we opened our gates again.

“We worked hard to ensure it is safe for people to come here and enjoy the greenery, which we know is good for our mental health, and it’s been heartening to see everyone really appreciating the gardeners’ hard work and the beautiful displays.

“We’ve been running at an average 72% of the reduced capacity we can have in the Gardens, which is encouraging, and now that the schools have closed for the summer break, we’re hoping to see even more families enjoying the wide-open spaces here.

“As a precaution, we’re carrying out regular deep cleaning at touchpoints and we’ve also put hand sanitiser stations around the Gardens.”

BBG scene

Because of the success of the first phase of re-opening, the Gardens has now opened the children’s playground for limited periods and the tea room is also now open reduced hours for takeaway drinks and packaged snacks, such as chocolate bars and crisps. The tea room is open 10.30am-4pm weekdays and 10.30am-5pm weekends, while the playground is available from 10am-2pm. Restrictions are in place to safeguard visitors’ safety.

In May, the Gardens received a lifeline £47,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund to help it meet its running costs.

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.

The booking slots are available at www.Birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk, which will take you to Eventbrite. Slots are available for the forthcoming two-week period.

Anyone needing help with the booking or with no access to the internet should call the Gardens on 0121 454 1860.

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms or who has been in contact with someone with the virus in the previous 14 days is asked not to visit the Gardens until it is safe to do so.

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