National Trust gardens CLOSED to improve social distancing

National Trust gardens CLOSED to improve social distancing

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 8:38am 22nd March 2020. (Updated at 8:43am 22nd March 2020)

A number of sites in Dorset are being shut during the coronavirus outbreak.


Earlier this week, the National Trust closed their buildings because of Covid-19 but said they'd aim to keep parks and gardens open.

Now (as of Sunday 22nd March), they've taken the decision to fully close to try and prevent large numbers of people gathering and potentially spreading the virus further.

Locally, sites closed include: 

  • Eggardon Hill, Bridport
  • Cerne Giant, Cerne Abbas
  • Corfe Castle, Wareham
  • Lewesdon Hill, Beaminster
  • Pilsdon Pen, Beaminster
cerne abbas giant
The area around the Cerne Abbas giant is among those affected by this measure from the National Trust

Director-General Hilary McGrady said:

"Despite our desire to keep our outdoor spaces open, the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors has to be our top priority. Having observed the numbers visiting our properties today and I am no longer convinced we can maintain social distancing over Mother’s Day when numbers are likely to grow, and beyond.

"We have now sadly taken the decision to close all of our parks and gardens, in addition to our houses, shops and cafes, to avoid crowding that puts social distancing at risk.

"We know that people are likely to need space and fresh air in the coming weeks and months and we will do all we can to provide access wherever possible."

So far this weekend, the sites have seen big crowds turning up as people try to get some fresh air.

These measures are being brought in to make sure the Government recommended social distancing can still be achieved.


The National Trust say they will be keeping their coastal sites open for the time being.

That includes sites like: 

  • Ringstead Bay, Weymouth
  • Burton Bradstock
  • Golden Cap, Bridport
  • Studland Bay, Swanage