Botanic garden set for safe reopening

Redwood Avenue at Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon

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Visitors to Benmore Botanic Garden have been promised a ‘warm and safe welcome’ when it reopens on Wednesday, July 1.

Curator Peter Baxter and his team said it had adopted strategies to create a safe environment for staff and visitors on the Cowal Peninsula.

New temporary measures include a one-way system on some paths and restrictions to access in confined areas such as the shop and toilets.

Staff will also be using PPE and the garden will only welcome local communities, it said.

Mr Baxter said: ‘We are aware many of our visitors missed out on the opportunity to visit Benmore during what was a glorious spring.

‘However, there is still time to enjoy the rest of the season, with some changes to ensure we follow all safety guidelines.

‘Above all we need our staff and visitors to feel secure with the way they are being welcomed back to the garden.’

The Court Yard Gallery will remain closed and also the Squirrel Hide.

Simon Milne MBE, Regius Keeper of Benmore’s parent organisation, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, added: ‘We look forward to welcoming back visitors and recognise that an ability to connect with the environment is vital to the well-being of everyone.

‘With the safety of our staff and visitors remaining our prime concern, we have amended operations to introduce measures that should build trust and confidence.

‘Travel restrictions remain in place and, for the immediate future, we will be restricted to welcoming local communities. However, this is a first hugely important step in our return to extended outreach. We ask for everyone’s patience, understanding and support as we resume operations steadily and in a way that works for everyone.’