Tatton Park is to reopen its parkland to the public on Wednesday, 3rd June.
The decision is part of a phased response to the latest government guidance and advice from Public Health England. The phased reopening of Tatton Park will see:
● The parkland and Stableyard toilets reopen on 3rd June; and
● Plans to reopen the gardens to pre-booked visitors from 8th June.
The farm and mansion will remain closed for the time being, however. The position on these and other facilities, such as shops and catering, will be kept under review in the light of the latest government guidance and the ability to open safely for staff and visitors.
Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: "The safety and wellbeing of our residents, visitors and staff remains the priority of this council.
"Tatton Park has been closed since 23 March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulties in maintaining safe operations for visitors, staff and the local community. Like many other destination attractions, it has stayed closed in order to do its bit to limit the spread of coronavirus, avoid encouraging unnecessary travel to the area and support lockdown rules and guidance.
"Last week the government finally clarified guidance on pay-for-entry outdoor attractions, which were supposed to stay closed until July, so that people can now 'visit gardens and land maintained for public use as an alternative open space to spend time outdoors.
"In response, Tatton Park, which is operated by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust, along with other large outdoor destinations – including the National Trust, has implemented plans for a phased reopening.
"These plans focus on the wellbeing of our visitors, staff, wildlife and local communities and initially mean we will be able to give access to our parkland with parking, toilets and the staff required to securely manage them.
"Hopefully, we will soon be able to include some takeaway refreshments and the 'Housekeeper's Store', the estate's own food shop."
In some instances, opening times have been temporarily adjusted but, as additional elements are brought in and changes made, these details will be communicated via social media channels and the website at: www.tattonpark.org.uk
Cllr Mannion added: "This has been a difficult time for everyone and the risk has not yet gone away. Reopening will require visitors to act responsibly and be considerate to the needs of others.
"Should any elements of our plans not work, or safe arrangements not prove possible, we will adjust arrangements accordingly. However, if social distancing guidelines are not followed or safe use cannot be maintained, we must reserve the right to close the park or its facilities at any time – in order to protect people's health and wellbeing.
"I would like to thank everyone for their patience during this difficult time and I hope that, with your support, we can get Tatton Park up and running again, welcoming visitors and delivering its fantastic service."