Eden’s outdoor gardens reopen on Saturday June 6
- Eden’s outdoor gardens reopen on Saturday June 6
- NHS and care workers allowed free entry
- Project hopes to fully reopen on July 4
The Eden Project is reopening its 30-acre outdoor gardens from Saturday June 6.
Eden has been temporarily closed to the public since March 22. Now new Government guidance means that the global garden near St Austell in Cornwall is able to reopen in a limited way.
The Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes and The Core education centre will stay closed to visitors until the project can reopen all areas, with July 4 set as a provisional date for that.
The Eden team has been examining guidelines closely and working on a range of new measures to ensure that the safety, health and wellbeing of all staff and visitors remains top priority.
For the first time, anyone visiting Eden will need to pre-book through the website, www.edenproject.com. Timed ticketing is being introduced to stagger entries and help maintain effective social distancing.
Eden has miles of wide, scenic paths around its outdoor gardens. Managers have closely studied previous visitor flows and have devised new and clearly marked trails so that individuals and family groups have greater space in which to walk around.
From Saturday June 6, visitor numbers will be limited to a maximum of 1,250 per day. This is around a third of the number expected on an equivalent day in previous summers and will be reviewed in the weeks to follow.
New cleaning schedules are being introduced and protective screens and barriers put in place. All staff working at Eden are receiving training on safety protocols and where necessary staff will wear personal protective equipment.
During this first phase of reopening, Eden is welcoming in free of charge anyone who works in the NHS or the care industry plus one guest - but they must be pre-booked. Pre-booking online is also essential for existing Eden Project Members and Passholders while new visitors can also book via the website, but availability is limited.
Government regulations do not yet allow cafes in gardens to re-open. Eden will offer take-away food and drink from four outlets around the site and this will include teas, coffees, savouries and ice cream.
As an extra safety measure, the site will be a largely cash-free and rely on online, card and contactless payments.
Eden was able to trial some social distancing measures in the days before it closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Managers say that the lessons learned then have been valuable in deciding when and how to open, in particular how to apply the two-metre social distancing rule.
Announcing the reopening plans today, David Harland, executive director of the Eden Project, said: “These have been difficult times for everyone but it is great news that we can start the process of waking up Eden so we can offer a space for people to be in nature, connecting with the wider world around them in a safe environment.
“We will be acting on Government guidelines very closely and will be keeping everyone updated on our further plans, including the eventual reopening of the Biomes, which we hope will be on July 4.
“Over the last couple of months, a dedicated team has been looking after the site, including a small band of gardeners who have worked tremendously hard to care for our unique living collections.
“Nature has lent a helping hand with so much sunshine during this amazing spring. Some areas will look a little wilder than usual until we have more members of the horticulture team back working their magic in the garden.”
Tickets to Eden will be available to book from 5pm today, Wednesday June 3. For a full guide to visiting from Saturday June 6, please go to www.edenproject.com.
Head of Media Relations