The National Trust has announced it will begin reopening some parks and gardens in England and Northern Ireland from 3 June following more than two months of lockdown.
Only members and visitors who have booked tickets in advance will be allowed to access sites. Parks and gardens will operate at around one third of their usual capacity to help people observe social distancing measures, the Trust added.
The Trust said it will initially reopen a small number of sites before opening more in the coming weeks as part of a phased plan to lift lockdown restrictions.
The announcement comes after the government updated its advice on ticketed garden venues on 23 May, confirming that people in England can now visit gardens and land maintained for public use.
Across the Irish Sea, the Executive in Northern Ireland also announced the reopening of outdoor spaces as part of step one in its Pathway to Recovery Plan.
National Trust Director General Hilary McGrady said: “We want to provide safe, local, welcoming spaces for people, and wherever possible we will open our gardens and parks, and coast and countryside car parks.
“The fresh air, bird song, big skies and open spaces people have missed will be there, but things will be very different, particularly at first.
“We want to thank people for their patience and support while we gradually begin reopening and welcoming our visitors.”
All the Trust’s houses, shops, holiday cottages and campsites remain closed in line with government guidelines. All car parks and properties in Wales remain closed in line with the Welsh government’s guidance.
Most of the Trust’s countryside and coastal car parks are now open, but car parks with a risk of high demand may need to be closed, and some may need to be booked in advance.
Visitors are being urged to check individual property web pages to check which parks have reopened. All admission to gardens and parklands will be by pre-booked ticket only.
Those wanting to buy tickets can do so by visiting individual sites’ websites or the Trust’s main page at www.nationaltrust.org.uk visiting
The charity is also urging visitors to limit how many visits they book, to stay local if they can and to avoid busy hot-spots.
Signs at properties and information ahead of visits will advise visitors on how to stay safe during their visit and routes will be marked out.