20/03/2020

Free Access To NI National Trust Properties

The National Trust is to open its parks to the public for free.

Announcing the news on Thursday, the trust urged all walkers to heed social distance advice while visiting the sites.

A statement from National Trust Northern Ireland said: "We're aiming to open many of our gardens and parks for free during this difficult time, so everyone can use open spaces to relax and refresh, while following the government's social distancing guidance."

All houses, shops and cafes at National Trust parks have been closed as a precautionary measure.
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Nature expert and writer Andy Beer from the National Trust said: "Although our coast and countryside will be open as usual, we'd encourage people to stay local and enjoy the first moments of spring where they are rather than making an unnecessary journey.

"There are so many small moments of nature that we can enjoy now that spring has arrived, from the first blossom to flower, birdsong and the first leaves unfurling on our trees.

"We've had so much support for our move to keep our outdoor places open which has been really terrific to see. However, we have a responsibility to adhere to government advice and although many can continue to enjoy many of our outdoor places we recognise this weekend is likely to be a challenge.

"To ensure we are encouraging people to stay aware of social distancing, many of our smaller parks and gardens could be closed this weekend. The wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors remains our top priority."



(JG/CM)

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