National Trust closes gardens after busy weekend

Brodick castle main building east 01 (1)

Closed: Brodick Castle. Image Wikimedia Commons / SirGawain

The charity had hoped to avoid closing open spaces. 

23rd March 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

The National Trust for Scotland is closing all of its gardens and car parks in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The move comes days after the conservation charity closed historic buildings and visitor centres across the country.

Although it had hoped to avoid closing open spaces, the Trust has now taken the decision to shut them after large numbers of people ignored social distancing guidelines by congregating in parks and gardens over the weekend.

Culzean Country Park and Brodick Country Park will be among the venues to close, as well as the grounds of properties such as Crathes and Brodie Castles. All holiday lets and bookings have been cancelled to the end of April.

The Trust has also asked people not to travel to its island properties in order to protect communities.

In a statement, the charity said: “The decision to go ahead with a blanket closure follows in the light of calls by the Scottish Government for people to suspend unnecessary travel, especially to more remote areas, and for the owners of all hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation to close.  

“The decision was also influenced by a busy weekend at some properties where social distancing guidance was not being followed and the potential threat to the wellbeing of both visitors and the Trust’s staff this was causing.”

Chief executive Simon Skinner added: “As I have said before, our absolute priority is to ensure the wellbeing of our visitors and workforce. It is this that has led us to today’s very difficult decision.

“To support non-essential travel instruction, we are closing all our remaining open properties, including gardens, grounds and country parks along with our car parks and holiday let properties. I am truly sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience this is causing but for the safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff this is the right course of action.

“The Trust is also asking people not to travel to our island properties at this time, albeit that this is difficult due to ferry restrictions in any case. We were aware of the serious concerns of residents in places like Canna and Fair Isle, which are remote from healthcare provision and especially vulnerable. For their sakes, no-one should travel to island communities unless it is on essential business.”