We are open for 2021

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We are open for 2021

 

Update from 2020 to 2021

The past year has been so turbulent - in last year’s February Newsletter we were looking forward to the 2020 Bluebell Walk, but within a month a new word entered our vocabulary: Covid.  It has affected every one of us, some sadly losing loved ones, others suffering with Long Covid, but at last the way forward looks brighter, as more of the population receive their jabs.

2021 Arlington Bluebell Walk

The good news is that we will open for the Bluebell Walk from Monday 12 April.  We are offering a very reduced Bluebell Walk with a lower entrance fee, with visitor numbers limited every hour, as each visit must be pre-booked to ensure we have a robust Track & Trace record.  The Bluebell Barn cannot be used, which means there will be no delicious food on offer which we so enjoyed from the participating charities.  The Farm Walks will not be open, so the only Walk is through Beatons Wood, which is one way round with a separate entrance and exit.  There will be no petting animals in the Animal Barn, but as it is large and well ventilated, this means that Arlington Church can hold their successful Plant Stall in the middle, but viewing will be one way round only.  We will provide additional portable loos and ample hand sanitizer dispensers around the site, as the safety of our visitors and charity volunteers is paramount. 

Bates Green Garden

The other good news is that since January 2020, Emma Reece, who used to be a student under my late wife Carolyn twenty years ago, has restored this tranquil plantsman’s garden, so for the first time in five years it will again be open to the public.
  During the Bluebell Walk it will be open every day, but only to those who have first pre-booked a visit to the Bluebell Walk.  There will be an extra entrance fee.  After 19 May it will be open every Wednesday until late October.  A new website is being developed, and when complete, it will be linked from www.bluebellwalk.co.uk

Maintenance and remedial work

Work has been continuing right through 2020 and will until we open. In Beatons Wood under our Management Plan, we coppiced an area near the Lower Pond and created two large piles of all the toppings thus giving shelter to wildlife, whilst the large timber was removed to be used for firewood.  We are trying to create a wildflower bank outside the farm, but it will have to be re-seeded, as germination for whatever reason was patchy!   Daffodils in Millennium AvenueThe wild daffodils in the Millennium Avenue increase year on year as each bloom sheds its own seed, so to improve the vista when they flower, we have removed undergrowth and cow parsley.  Next year we will open Bates Green Garden, Millennium Avenue and Beatons Wood on certain days in February / March, which will be online booking to ensure we have sufficient area for car parking, as our Car Park Field is too wet at that time of year!

 

Online booking is now live

We are pleased to announce that you can now book your visit online. Due to Covid regulations all visits must be pre-booked. Please visit the booking page for more information.

 

Important information for 2021

2021 Arlington Bluebell Walk - Monday 12th April to Wednesday 19th May

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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. 

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. There would be temporary barriers leading from the front gate towards the toilets, so visitors coming in did not mingle with those leaving.

 

  1. 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’.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

John McCutchan 

 

This message was added on Friday 2nd April 2021


Comments


Thank you/Janet

It’s such great news that the bluebell walk is to open! I really missed it last year.


Children /Hannah Nardella

Hello, I have 2 Children under 5. I’ve read they will be free but do I need to book a place for them? There’s no option to include them on the booking without being charged? Many thanks


Re: Children/Bluebell Walk

Children under 6 do not need tickets, so you do not need to include them on the booking form. We will clarify on the booking form that a child refers to ages 6 - 16.


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