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Important information regarding how the Bluebell Walk will operate in 2021
2021 Arlington Bluebell Walk - Monday 12th April to Wednesday 19th May
- Our top priority is to ensure the safety of all charity volunteers, plus of course our visitors. There will be many hand sanitizer dispensers around, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer. Wearing face masks is optional, but please respect social distancing.
- We have decided that for this year, we must offer a greatly slimmed down version of what has worked so successfully in the past. This means there would be no access to any of the Farm Trails, so all those Farm Trail gates in and out of Beatons Wood will be locked with plastic ties. The only walk available is one way round Beatons Wood. The entrance will be via the Millennium Avenue and the exit via the double gates by the farm buildings.
- There will be no mobility scooters, no petting animals in the Animal Barn. The Bluebell Barn can only be used for access to Bates Green Garden. This means there will be no Book Room or HOPS Stall, neither can any food or drink be served.
- We are introducing a pre-paid booking system, so for every hour from 10.00am to 4.00pm it will only allow 65 persons maximum in per hour. The Gate House will be redundant as the Information Kiosk will be located at the farm entrance gate, for charity volunteers to check that only visitors with booked and paid slots can enter. It is a difficult balancing act to gauge the number of visitors to allow in every hour, without Beatons Wood appearing to be too crowded, but we need sufficient footfall to pay the many and varied expenses involved in running a Bluebell Walk.
- There would be temporary barriers leading from the front gate towards the toilets, so visitors coming in did not mingle with those leaving.
- The number of road direction signs will be limited to only four leading to Bates Green Farm. This is to detract potential visitors who have not pre-booked. Each sign would have a prominent sticker saying ‘Pre-booked entry only’.
- Bates Green Garden will be open every day, but only to those who have previously booked a slot that day to the Bluebell Walk. The door in the Bluebell Barn is the only access to the garden, so a charity volunteer will collect the entrance fee. It is £7.00 adults, £3.50 children (6 – 16 years), payable by contactless only. The number of visitors in the garden will be restricted to 25 at any one time, so if more want to enter then a socially distanced queue can be formed outside the Bluebell Barn. No dogs would be permitted to enter the garden.
- There will be 2 portable loos close to our existing ones, plus one in the Car Park for the convenience of visitors arriving and those who make use of our Picnic area.
- After a prolonged discussion we agreed that refreshments must not be available, as we want to ensure the safety of all, by ensuring nothing is under cover. Visitors will be advised to bring their own picnics, as they can make use of the sheltered Picnic Area in the Car Park Field. We are providing large picnic tables which will be positioned to be socially distanced. No barbeques.
- As what we offer our visitors is so limited this year, we will reduce the adult and children entrance fees and increase the age from which children would be charged from 3-16 years to 6-16 years. Prices for adults are reduced from £6.00 to £5.00 with no separate concessionary or family prices, and children ages amended to (6-16 years) but entrance charge stays at £2.50.
- Arlington Church will have their usual Plant Stall, but it will be situated in the empty Animal Barn as it is well ventilated. A one way system round the Stall will be in place.