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Exbury Gardens remains open to visitors for exercise during lockdown

Exbury Gardens is remaining open during the second lockdown to enable people to use its grounds for essential exercise.

The New Forest attraction would normally be closed by now for routine garden and railway maintenance until Spring. But following public demand and the latest government guidance, Exbury’s Board of Directors decided to keep the gardens open.

An Exbury Gardens spokesperson said: “Keeping the gardens open to the public in this way is in the best interest of all, enabling our visitors to reap the mental and physical benefits of using our 200 acres of outstanding natural beauty for exercise.”

To enable more people to make use of their grounds amid the restrictions, ticket prices have been reduced.

Local blogger Sarah Frost (@girlabouthampshire) features Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway in blog posts including suggested ‘Autumnal walks’ and the ‘Top 5 days out in Hampshire’.

The blogger told WINOL: “I think it’s so important that gardens such as Exbury can remain open during lockdown because they provide large open spaces for people to enjoy. During the shorter days, they provide somewhere to exercise and get some fresh air which is vital for wellness in these tough times”.

The popular spot has been given the Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark, showing it has made the necessary changes to meet Government and public health Covid guidance.

Changes include, pre-booked tickets, one-way systems and regular cleaning to keep staff and visitors safe.

Exbury Gardens is just one of Hampshire’s scenic sites being kept open, with the National Trust also keeping all their “outdoor spaces” open to the public.

Gardening and Wellbeing Therapist, Annabelle Padwick told WINOL she hopes public gardens and grounds have been kept open this time “because the government are aware of how important they for our wellbeing”.

“But it’s probably because they are usually all open outside spaces which makes them quite safe. Plus, the autumn wet weather will naturally reduce the number of visitors making it even safer, compared to the summer months.”

“Gardens are incredible places that provide comfort, inspiration, hope and most importantly at time like this, a place outside that we can all safely visit”.

“Especially for people who don’t have access to their own garden, having the option to visit Exbury or other public gardens is hugely important for their overall wellbeing”.

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