National Trust urges caution this weekend with good weather forecast

They fear the weather, plus Mothering Sunday, could tempt more people onto the roads.

The South Front and garden at Standen: National Trust Images Andrew Butler
The South Front and garden at Standen: National Trust Images Andrew Butler

Trust spokeswoman Jeannette Heard said: “The trust has pledged to allow free access to open space but this weekend may draw high numbers – so smaller parks and gardens may be closed for safety reasons

“With Mother’s Day and good weather forecast for the weekend, the National Trust is urging people to avoid unnecessary travel and follow government guidelines on social gatherings.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“The Trust’s coast and countryside places will be open as usual with any car park charges suspended and the charity is working where it can to keep outdoor spaces open and free to access.

“However Mother’s Day and a weekend likely to be mostly dry and sunny could see some sites, especially smaller parks and gardens having to close. Earlier this week the conservation charity announced that it would close its houses, shops and cafes to restrict the spread of coronavirus.”

Nature expert and writer Andy Beer from the National Trust says: “Although our coast and countryside will be open as usual, we’d encourage people to stay local and enjoy the first moments of spring where they are rather than making an unnecessary journey.

“There are so many small moments of nature that we can enjoy now that spring has arrived, from the first blossom to flower, birdsong and the first leaves unfurling on our trees.

“We’ve had so much support for our move to keep our outdoor places open which has been really terrific to see. However, we have a responsibility to adhere to government advice and although many can continue to enjoy many of our outdoor places we recognise this weekend is likely to be a challenge.

“To ensure we are encouraging people to stay aware of social distancing, many of our smaller parks and gardens could be closed this weekend. The wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors remains our top priority.”

Information on which National Trust outdoor places are open this weekend can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk