Category Archives: Uncategorized

This summer, visitors can watch Roman soldiers descend on Fishbourne Roman Palace & Gardens, take part in fun history-themed activities at Lewes Castle & Museum and explore a huge contemporary craft fair in the stunning grounds at Michelham Priory House & Gardens.

 

The Sussex Archaeological Society has a busy calendar of events over the school holidays and is offering great value for family days out, with something different for every day of the week at its historic properties across the county, so summer is sorted with plenty of activities for all ages.

 

On Medieval Mondays at Lewes Castle & Museum in East Sussex, children can dress up in armour, battle dragons and take part in games and crafts at the impressive Norman castle every week from 11am to 1pm, with additional archaeology-themed activities every Thursday. No booking is required and all activities are included in the cost of admission, so families can make the most of visiting – from panoramic views at the top of the castle to the diverse collection of artefacts in the adjoining Museum of Sussex Archaeology. Admission starts at £8 for an adult and £4 for a student or child.

 

Down the hill at the intimate Anne of Cleves House, activities on Tudor Tuesdays include spinning, sewing, drawing, crafts and games in the property’s Tudor Garden between 1pm and 4pm. Activities are included in the cost of admission, which starts at £6 for an adult and £3.50 for a student or child.

 

For those who want to make a day of visiting both Lewes Castle & Museum and Anne of Cleves House, which are a ten-minute walk apart, combined tickets are available, priced at £13.50 for an adult and £7.50 for a child.

 

At Michelham Priory House & Gardens in East Sussex, visitors can get close to nature and explore the abundant gardens, enjoy a picnic on the lawns and take part in family drop-in sessions every Wednesday, with activities on a different theme every week, from pre-history to wildlife. Activities are included in admission to the historic house, which dates from 1229 and is set within a stunning island, surrounded by the largest medieval moat in the country. Parking is free and the site has a revamped children’s play area, with a range of homemade cakes and local produce available at the café.

 

From Friday 29 to Sunday 31 July, the grounds will be transformed as craftspeople from the Sussex Guild return to show off their wares at the Contemporary Craft Fair. Entry is included in admission, with tickets available on the door only during that weekend.

 

Just a short walk or cycle from Chichester city centre in West Sussex, visitors to Fishbourne Roman Palace can explore the magnificent mosaics at the largest Roman home north of the Alps and join in with Roman-themed activities every Thursday. Admission is £12 for an adult and £6 for a child.

 

Over the weekend of 30 – 31 July, soldiers of the Ermine Street Guard will be setting up camp and giving thrilling displays in the Palace’s formal garden, providing live demonstrations of how the Roman Army prepared for combat. Pre-booking tickets online is recommended for this popular event, with prices starting at £15 for adults and £8 for a child.

 

Andrew Edwards, chief executive of Sussex Archaeological Society, said: “Our summer programme of events offers great days out for all the family, with activities for all ages and the chance to explore fascinating museum collections and our stunning historic properties.

 

“As the county’s largest heritage-based organisation and charity, we pride ourselves on offering excellent value for visitors and hope these events and activities will inspire young people to engage with the incredible history of Sussex, as well as keeping them entertained during the holidays.”

For more information on all events and tickets prices, visit https://sussexpast.co.uk.

We all need space to grow. Into The Trees offers the whole family the opportunity to actively explore our natural surroundings creating life-long memories together.

Young children, parents and grandparents are invited to try a host of nature, arts and sports activities from the team behind the sell-out Elderflower Fields. Enjoy new experiences with the family, or simply relax in the beautiful wild playground where roots grow beyond those of the ancient trees.

Pippingford Park is an enchanting protected woodland in the heart of the Ashdown Forest and Into The Trees brings visitors together with experts and activities from the outdoors world. A chance to explore a range of mindful woodland based arts, sport and environmental activities from tree-top climbing to drawing from nature, fort building, wand making, pewter casting, foraging, pond dipping, lantern making and raft building – there is something for everyone. Weekend guests camp out under dark starry skies and enjoy relaxed fireside performances, excellent locally produced food, and the Into The Trees Saturday night ceilidh.

The So Sussex formula of adventure, discovery and inspiration continues to encourage even more generations to spend time together outdoors and discover the wonder of nature.

Weekend camping and glamping tickets plus excellent value day tickets including reduced rates for grandparents on sale now.

Create roots together at Into The Trees this September

Into The Trees 9 / 10 / 11th September 2022  Pippingford Park, Nutley, Uckfield, Sussex TN22 3HW

 

 

Thousands of visitors flocked to the iconic South of England Show last weekend (10-12 June) where livestock and equine competition made a welcome return after a break of three years due to the pandemic.

 

Organised by the South of England Agricultural Society, the South of England Show was established to celebrate, and educate the public about, all things agricultural. It remains true to its roots and is one of the key events in the UK calendar each year – attended by agricultural and equestrian professional and enthusiasts, and thousands of people from all over the region looking for a fantastic day out.

 

Held at the beautiful 150-acre South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex, the 2022 show featured nearly 400 livestock competition classes featuring many different breeds; over 70 different equestrian displays and competitions including international showjumping, heavy horses and the always thrilling Inter Hunt Relay.  There were also performances from a military brass band and this year the show hosted an Army Village. There was also a proposal of marriage during one of the live performances which delighted the audience.

 

All this on top of the show’s epic shopping opportunities, a live music stage, a Grape & Grain walk with local vineyards and microbreweries, a medieval re-enactment zone, Discover the Countryside area, funfair and more. In the Society’s Countryside Hub their Education Committee supported the ‘Queen’s Green Canopy’ initiative for their patron’s Platinum Jubilee with a display of living trees for youngsters to identify.

 

The 2022 Garden Design competition which was judged at the show was won by Brinsbury College with their ingenious ‘Bedroom’ themed garden, while dozens of children entered the ‘Growing in Containers’ competition. Both competitions were themed ‘Re-cycle & Re-use’.

 

Corrie Ince, Show Director for the South of England Agricultural Society, commented:

 

“What a show! After having cancelled in 2020, and had so many restrictions in 2021, this year certainly saw us come back with a bang, and the weather was kind to us with sunshine for the whole weekend.”

 

“Thank you so much to everyone who supported us, we truly hope you enjoyed the weekend’s activities. We are incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful volunteers and staff that help us produce the South of England Show each year. Not only does it allow us to celebrate the world of agriculture with the public, and inspire so many – especially the next generation, the ticket sales enable us as a charity to support those interested or involved in agriculture and other land-based industries.”

 

The Society’s next show is the Autumn Show & International Horse Trials. Held on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September 2022, the event will feature a plethora of countryside sports, displays and ‘have-a-go’ activities all designed to celebrate the joys of countryside and equestrian pursuits. And this year what was the Autumn Show & Game Fair is coming together with the long-established South of England International Horse Trials as one fantastic new weekend event. For more information or to book tickets visit www.seas.org.uk.

 

8 July – 18 September 2022; 10.00-18.00
Tickets on sale May 2022
Included in day ticket price £14.95 adults, £7.50 17-25yrs: children free
Nourish: After Hours from £15, Workshops from £15
Wakehurst, Sussex
Five major outdoor art installations premiere at Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic
garden in Sussex, as part of new summer programme inspired by Kew’s world leading science projects.

Highlights include:
• Bespoke 24ft high sculpture suspended across Wakehurst’s Westwood Valley by American artist John
Grade, rising and falling in response to rainfall, inspired by Kew’s research into the high-altitude
ecosystem in the Colombian Andes called the Páramo
• The False Banana Pavilion, a newly commissioned large-scale installation from Flea Folly Architects
celebrates enset, the remarkable African wild banana relative that could become a resilient climate smart crop of the future
• UK Young Artist of the Year nominee Malgorzata Lisiecka reflects on the power of fungi with a series of
3D interactive sculptures, inspired by the underground networks of mycelium and roots that support
all life on earth, currently being researched in Kew’s Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia project
• Eight After Hours evening events offer visitors unique opportunity to experience the gardens at sunset,
complete with live performances and outdoor dining

This summer, Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden, invites visitors to discover a series of newly
commissioned outdoor installations, each responding to critical Kew Science research projects that explore the
future of plants and food in communities across the world. Nestled across the botanic gardens, each artwork
draws visitors into a new habitat in the diverse landscape, carving out time to savour in nature, and to
appreciate the restorative benefits of biodiversity first-hand.
Anchored between three towering oaks and one beech in Westwood Valley, Isla from renowned artist John
Grade is a striking 24ft sculpture formed of 4000 individual resin pieces suspended over the steep ravine. The
dramatic work takes inspiration from the Espeletia or frailejón plant, a perennial shrub in the sunflower family,
native to Colombia and found in the páramo, a high-altitude ecosystem in the Andes Mountain Range. Just as
the frailejón gathers rain and mist and then releases moisture into the ground, Grade’s installation will
respond to rainfall, collecting the water in a series of interconnected cast pieces, and lowering towards the
ground where it will slowly release the water and return to its original position. Visitors can experience this
spectacle from numerous viewpoints, including a new 12m wide viewing platform being constructed this
Spring. Kew scientist Dr Mauricio Diazgranados Cadelo is exploring the impact of climate change on this crucial
habitat, which provides more than 80% of the fresh water to local communities.

Standing proudly in Wakehurst’s Bethlehem Wood, The False Banana Pavilion takes inspiration from
traditional huts found in Ethiopia, home of enset. This architectural installation, created by spatial-storytellers
Flea Folly Architects, champions this wild banana relative, a staple crop for over 20 million people in Ethiopia.
Upon entering the pavilion, visitors will be immersed in a cascade of giant paddle-shaped enset leaves that
clad the walls, with the name and location of each unique landrace carved across them, a visual analogy of
enset’s spectacular diversity. Sometimes known as ‘the tree against hunger’, enset’s unique food security
qualities have been the focus of Kew Research Fellow Dr James S Borrell in collaboration with Ethiopian
scientists. In mapping enset’s distribution and diversity, Borrell continues to increase scientific understanding
of this remarkable crop, helping to support the food security and climate resilience of communities across the
Ethiopian Highlands.

Visitors return to the wonders of Colombia, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, through
Malgorzata Lisiecka’s Hidden Dimension. As visitors enter the gardens, they will encounter the first of a
bespoke series of 3D structures from the UK Young Artist of the Year nominee, designed to bring the beauty of
underground fungal networks to the surface. Formed of a combination of willow and textiles, the large-scale
structures will also takeover Wakehurst’s Himalayan Glade, where two further mycelial installations simulate
an x-ray view of the underground communities. Visitors will also be able to appreciate the detail of the largescale artworks up-close as they pass under a bespoke archway, nestled deep in the Glade. The thread-like
networks are inspired by the Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia project led by Kew’s Dr Mauricio
Diazgranados and Dr Tiziana Ulian. This research aims to improve wider access to information on the country’s
useful plants and fungi for the benefit and use of local communities.
Further inspiration comes from the Caucasus and Mexico in the final two installations. Fine artist Helen Law
champions the work of Dr Aisyah Faruk, who in collaboration with partners in Armenia and Georgia is
protecting important wild fruit and nut species by collecting and conserving seeds from 120 species, engaging
rural communities in sustainable harvesting and establishing local community orchards. In her playful
installation, visitors can see the journey from seed to plate as edible plants grow through a large-scale wooden
table. Above, Law suspends colourful seed-like structures formed of recycled acetate which cast intricate
shadows on the ground, inviting people to pause and consider the fundamental role nature plays in supporting
human life.
Multidisciplinary audio-visual artist Augustine Leudar also creates a sanctuary of reflection for visitors in
Wakehurst’s Water Gardens through a new bespoke 3D soundscape. Transporting listeners to the forests of
Mexico, Leudar’s audio work immerses people in his recordings of native birds, insects and animals alongside
folk music of Veracruz, audible across an acre of Wakehurst’s woodland. The soundscape draws attention to
the reforestation project led by Kew scientist Dr Tiziana Ulian who, in collaboration with the Universidad
Nacional Autónoma de México, is banking the seeds of 300 different tree species to protect the vital forests
used not only for timber, firewood and rituals but also ensures clean water and the prevention of soil erosion.
Young adventurers roaming Wakehurst can unearth extra interactive activities at every installation. From brass
rubbings to QR codes revealing delicious recipes or fascinating films, there is something to inspire budding
scientists and artists alike.
Events programme
Throughout the summer, a series of workshops and events offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to nourish
their minds and bodies in the biodiverse settings of Wakehurst’s wild landscape. Full listings will be
announced in May.
Nourish: After Hours
Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 and Thursday 18 – 21 August 2022
18.00-21.00
From £15: 10% discount for members
Booking essential
Nourish: After Hours sees the gardens and installations come alive with captivating live performances, open-air
cooking and botanical cocktails, forming the perfect midsummer date or night out with friends. Wandering
through the landscape, evening guests will find many of the artworks can be enjoyed anew at sunset,
enhanced with live performances, and delicious food inspired by the countries in which the Kew scientists are
undertaking research.

  • Eco friendly summer holiday packing with help from the July Repair Cafe!
  • Saturday 2nd July, United Reform Church Lindfield

 

It’s July, the school holidays will soon begin and many of us will be heading off for a well-earned break, camping or planning trips to the coast or countryside.

 

This year, instead of trudging round the shops or trawling online looking for new holiday gear, dig out your old stuff now, see if it needs any quick repairs or alterations and bring it along to the Repair Cafe!  That way you’ll save more money to spend on your holidays, as well as avoiding sending things to landfill.

 

  • Broken zips, frayed seams, clothing that has ‘shrunk’ can be mended or altered.
  • Camping? Check torches and lamps, sleeping bag zips, saucepan handles
  • Broken bag/backpack straps or zips and suitcase locks and wheels.
  • Going on a cycling holiday? – get your bike checked over by our experts: Brakes, chains, lights. Bike rack in working order?
  • Pen knives – seized or blunt?
  • Portable electricals – travel hairdryer/straighteners

 

  • Staying home? – check your electric fans are in working order in case we have a heat wave!
  • Garden furniture with wobbly legs?

 

Please note: The repair cafe does not hold equipment/spare parts for repairs so if you need a new zip or spare part it may be worth purchasing one before you come along!

 

Crime Prevention Table

This month we are delighted to welcome Sussex Police who will be on hand to suggest and recommend simple crime prevention measures to help us keep our belongings safe both at home and whilst on holiday.

They will have a selection of information leaflets available covering areas such as Fraud, Scams,  Safety on the web, Cuckoo `ing, home security, community speed watch, Operation Crackdown, drugs, knife crime, domestic abuse, hate crime and so on.

 

Kids Table for July

There will be loads of Lego for kids to practise their construction skills!

 

Lindfield Repair Café is open on the first Saturday of every month at the United Reformed Church, 52 High Street, Lindfield from 10am to 1pm.  (On bank holiday weekends the date will move to the second Saturday of the month and in June the date will be Saturday 11th to avoid clashing with Village Day on the 4th)

 

There is a collection point for Haywards Heath Food Bank at the venue so visitors may drop off donations when they visit.

 

Please note that the Repair Cafe cannot guarantee that they will be able to repair all items brought in but they will always have a go if possible!

 

Website: https://www.lindfieldrepaircafe.org/

Converted from an historic Riding House into a contemporary styled tearoom, the conclusion of this three-year project sees the introduction of a Changing Place toilet and accessible facilities for all at Nymans.

Monday 6 June 3.30pm – 5.30pm

  • 4.15pm welcome from Zara Luxford, General Manager of the Nymans and Standen portfolio of properties.
  • Oliver Messel’s nephew, Thomas Messel, furniture maker, will introduce the reimagining of the ruins project.
  • Hilary McGrady will formally open the new tearoom with an opportunity to meet Hilary afterwards.
  • Tours of the new garden in the ruins will also be available with Thomas Messel and Assistant Head Gardener, Nick Delves, later in the afternoon.

The Messel family’s former Riding House will enjoy a new lease of life this summer as it opens as a tearoom at the heart of the garden. This is the last phase of a project to improve visitor facilities throughout Nymans. The Riding House’s contemporary atmosphere and expansive views of the Weald from the lift accessible mezzanine floor, make this an enchanting place to stop for lunch or coffee. The Riding House tearoom cleverly combines modern facilities within the original historic building.

Accessibility for all has been at the forefront of General Manger Zara Luxford’s mind throughout the three-year project. She says: ‘The café and toilet provisions at Nymans have long needed improving and the changes we’ve made will much better meet the needs of our visitors. It’s great to see an underused building given a new lease of life and to provide facilities in the heart of the garden, right next to the house’.

The much-needed modern facilities, which so many visitors have asked for in feedback, include 20 new toilets, including family toilets, a new fully accessible toilet all conveniently found in a central location within the garden. A new Changing Place and added WC’s opened last year next to our existing café.

Serving tempting treats, light lunches and afternoon tea, visitors can enjoy the relaxed barn like interior with comfortable seating and views across the fields and woods from the mezzanine floor. Order from the counter or sit back and enjoy table service. To hire the mezzanine space for weddings or events please contact Nymans directly.

The income from the new tearoom will directly support conservation work at Nymans, making sure the gardens, house and woodland are cared for and beautiful, for everyone, for ever.

  • Friday 10th, Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th June 2022
  • 9am – 6.30pm
  • South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex

 

The South of England Show is back this year from 10-12 June in all its glory – reminiscent of pre Covid days and with a real focus on going back to its roots as an agricultural show. With more than 100 fun things to see and do, the three-day programme sees the return of equine and livestock competing as well as new appearances including displays from the Army and a garden design competition.
Taking place at the iconic South of England Showground, the annual family-based event allows every generation to see, meet, and learn from farmers, landowners, rural businesses, and local artisan producers to truly connect with the countryside – and ultimately have a fun-packed day out.
Beloved classics such as the cattle parades and international showjumping will be returning to the main ring this year, as will heavy horses hound displays, scurry driving and inter hunt relay competitions. The outer rings will see a welcome return to a full programme of cattle, goat, sheep and pig judging as well as equine showing which includes ridden hunters, moorland ponies, side saddle and more.

Shoppers can whet their appetite in the Food Hall and Village which will feature culinary delights from local and independent producers. Also, the Grape & Grain Walk will bring together local vineyards and microbreweries for some light refreshment, while the ever-popular sound of Great Gatsby band Casablanca Steps plays live.

There will be the best of countryside shopping on offer including clothing, pet accessories, rural crafts, plant and garden supplies and independent boutique stands. You can even pick up a top of the range car or tractor.

Visitors looking to experience traditional countryside activities and crafts are also sure to enjoy the hedge laying and trug making, as well as country sports with gundogs, hounds, and birds of prey.

A children’s trail will take the little ones through the show to experience a variety of activities including learning about where food comes from and how it’s produced.  The ever-popular sheep show will have everyone laughing out loud, and the Discover the Countryside area will provide amazing experiences for all ages with forestry, fly casting and the NFU Discovery Barn.

There’s also live music, farm machinery through the ages, pay and play golf, a medieval re-enactment zone, axe throwing, archery, tug of war, cookery demonstrations, and a whole lot more!

Corrie Ince, Show Director for the South of England Agricultural Society, commented:

“We were very fortunate that we were able to hold The South of England Show in 2021, albeit on a much smaller scale.  With restrictions lifted we are delighted to be coming back with a bang and offering an action-packed programme. Visitors to the show will be able meet rural businesses and farmers, learn first-hand about countryside industries and see a huge variety of horses and livestock strutting their stuff in the main rings.   A day at the show offers a unique opportunity to see and sample all the wonderful things our countryside and region have to offer.

“As a charity, we are grateful for the support of the general public. Their attendance of our shows means we can raise vital funds to support people with an interest or involvement in land-based industries including agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, forestry, and more.  We look forward to seeing you!”

Tickets are available from www.seas.org.uk and cost £21.60 for adults, £19.80 for senior citizens/students (inclusive of 10% online discount until 2.06.22) – under 16s go free (suggested donation of £2 for children aged 5-15).

*All content is subject to change.

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft has released a new Environmental Statement today, pledging to place carbon reduction and environmental issues at the heart of its work.

The museum’s Environmental Statement is released on International Museum Day 2022, a day exploring the potential of museums to bring about positive change in their communities. 

As part of today’s statement Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft is committed to: 

  • highlighting ecology and climate issues in our public facing work 
  • encouraging biodiversity in its Dye Garden 
  • encouraging and inspiring visitors and staff to reduce their own pollution and carbon footprint 
  • collecting our own environmental data 
  • integrating principles of environmental sustainability when procuring goods and services 
  • investigating the use of greener energy supplies  
  • working in a way that promotes the local economy and beautiful natural environment 
  • collaborating with cultural and environmental partners to deliver this crucial work  

Much like the artists who settled in the village over 100 years ago, environmental sustainability has always been front of mind for the team at Ditchling.

One way that visitors can engage with the museum’s environmental efforts is through their Dye Garden Tours. Each summer the museum opens the garden up to the public to teach them about the slow and meditative practice of dyeing using plant and vegetable fibres. Ditchling has a longstanding history of this climate-friendly practice – the village was the home of prodigious dyer Ethel Mairet in the early 20th century, securing its position as the UK’s home of natural dyeing. 

Natural dyes are biodegradable, non-toxic and non-allergenic, making them better for the environment, as they don’t have any carcinogenic components which are found in many synthetic dyes. What’s more, natural dyes consume less water than synthetic dyes and they are not harmful to the environment since they come entirely from natural and renewable sources.
 
Visitors can experiment with a range of natural dyeing techniques themselves at the museum’s Natural Dye Day on 27 August.

Museum Director and CEO Stephanie Fuller said “Artists and craftspeople came to Ditchling in the early 20th century so that they could live sustainably, in harmony with nature. The beautiful South Downs around the village were an important source of creativity and inspiration in their work; their ideas were very much in tune with contemporary thinking about living lightly on the earth, and the museum is happy to play its part in that.” 

Heaven Farm is an award-winning farm set in 100 acres of beautiful parkland in the Weald of Sussex, close to Ashdown Forest, steeped in 600 years of farming history. We have a beautiful nature trail through our wood, parkland and waterside, which holds Conservation Awards from the South of England Agricultural Society. There is much of interest as you make your way around the nature trail including an ancient Bloomery (probably Roman) to an old pack horse bridge, a 300-year-old dam, badger sets and foxes’ earths. We have also featured on Gardeners World and Country File. At the end of our nature trail, you can see our wallabies grazing in their field, along with their babies.

As well as the nature trail, we have our own ice cream parlour – Latchetts Farm on our grounds. With handmade gelato, sorbet and freshly pasteurised milk, made daily using only the milk from our cows grazing on the family farm. We provide tasty treats for all of the family. 

Onsite we also have a farm-themed 18-hole adventure golf course. The Cow Putt offers fantastic fun for all of the family with tractor ruts to negotiate, a water raft to scale and our animal statues. There is something for all ages.  

For the younger children we also have an indoor play area suitable for babies to children up to 8 years old – Doves Play Barn. Made from sustainable wood and natural curves of trees that you would find on our very own nature trail, it provides hidden spaces, rope bridges, slides and a toddler safe area for your little ones to explore the wilderness in the safety and comfort of our temperature-controlled barn. 

We also have The Stable Tea Rooms which offers fabulous food serving breakfast, light lunches, daily specials, toasties and cream teas. All of our food is freshly prepared and served straight from our country kitchen. We serve a collection of homemade cakes made onsite along with tea, coffee, milkshakes, soft drinks and we have a license to serve alcohol with our food. All of our food can be enjoyed in our large indoor or outdoor seating area, with wheelchair-friendly access and toilets. 

We also offer camping on our site for tents, campervans, caravans and motorhomes. We provide showers, toilets and a washing-up area, you can also purchase firewood and hire fire pits onsite. 

Come and pay us a visit soon!

With the return of RHS Chelsea Flower Show next week fostering a renewed interest in the benefits of green spaces for mental and physical wellbeing, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has reached a milestone in the number of people coming to Kew thanks to their new discounted ticket.

Since the introduction in January of a £1 entry ticket for people in receipt of Universal or Pension Credit, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has welcomed 8000 visitors using the new low-cost ticket across its sites at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst in Sussex.

To date, the new scheme has encouraged eight times more visitors to the gardens than the previous discounted entry ticket brought in the whole of 2019 (which was available to anyone unemployed or on Jobseeker’s Allowance).

The remarkable response follows an uptick in overall visitor numbers to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which saw a 61% increase in 2021 making Kew Gardens the second most visited attraction in the UK*.  The importance of access to green space was highlighted over the lockdowns, and this summer Kew scientists and partners from Royal Holloway, University of London are embarking on a study as part of Nature Unlocked: the Landscape Ecology Programme at Wakehurst to explore how spending time outdoors impacts wellbeing.

The offer was launched as part of a suite of new ticket prices which aims to make the gardens more accessible to people of all ages and incomes, reflecting Kew’s Manifesto for Change (2020) which states ‘Kew must be accessible to a wide range of audiences’.

Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise says, “It’s wonderful to see that this new offer is enabling more people to come and enjoy the gardens at Kew and Wakehurst, as we know how important time out in nature is both for physical and mental wellbeing. We’re delighted to offer more people a space to which to escape, meet friends and family, and learn about the incredible world of plants and fungi upon which our lives depend. I hope visitors continue to spread the word so we can welcome as many people to Kew as possible.”

One visitor to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who availed of this new discounted ticket says,

“Due to illness I have been unable to work for a couple of years. Thus, money is tight (especially with the rising cost of utilities in conjunction with inflation). Being able to use my Universal Credit status as a means to get a reduced ticket was a godsend as such. I’ve wanted to re visit for quite some time but couldn’t really justify it financially. Paying a pound I felt guilty about after seeing the exhibitions. So, we bought some things in the shops and put a few pounds into the collection boxes. Thank you.”

Another visitor to Kew Gardens using the £1 ticket said;

“I was really pleased to see you now offer a substantial concession to people on low incomes (on Universal Credit etc.) This makes Kew inclusive for everyone and is really important especially considering the work done at Kew and its importance to everyone.”

Elsewhere, on social media @Roadsidemum said;

“I took the children to @kewgardens yesterday (US and Legacy benefits recipients get entry for £1). I cannot overstate how beautiful it was. None of my photos do it justice. I would strongly recommend it to anyone at all. Paths flat and solid for the wheelchair. Helpful staff.”

RBG Kew offers an exciting programme of festivals and exhibitions throughout the year across both sites, and entry is available to all visitors, including those using the discounted entry ticket. Highlights coming up at Kew Gardens include the Food Forever programme (May-September), the Mexico Autumn Festival (October) and Orchids (Feb 2023). At Wakehurst, unmissable events include Nourish (July – September) and Room on the Broom (October).

RBG Kew has also introduced a new Young Person’s ticket at Kew Gardens for 16-25 year olds which can be purchased for just £9 either on the day or in advance of a visit. For families or other groups, there is also now a reduced price for early booking of just £15 per adult. At Wakehurst, 17-25 year olds can purchase tickets for £7.50, and children 16yrs and under (accompanied by an adult) can enjoy the gardens for free.

Kew also now offers people a significant discount for daytime visitors after 4pm at Kew Gardens and after 3.30pm at Wakehurst on any day during extended opening hours over the summertime.