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NTS SETS OUT ITS PLANS FOR RE-OPENING PROPERTIES

Wed 10 Jun 20

Conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland has revealed its proposals to begin re-opening properties as and when allowed by the Scottish Government’s ‘route map’ away from Coronavirus lockdown.

However, in line with previous revelations about the charity’s loss of income resulting from the pandemic, the charity is also listing those properties, primarily buildings, that it is proposing to delay opening until at least 2021, either due to lack of resources or because they cannot be adequately adapted to ongoing social distancing restrictions.

The Trust is already beginning to remove barriers to access at some of its key countryside properties, such as Corrieshalloch Gorge and Ben Lawers, albeit that this is for local access (from within five miles) as per government advice. 

With access to other types of properties and travel from further afield expected to be permitted under stage three of the route map, Trust staff are also beginning to prepare for this, making sure processes are in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors and to uphold social distancing, particularly in enclosed grounds and gardens. 

It is hoped that if sufficient progress is made in tackling Covid-19, enclosed grounds and gardens can be re-opened in late June or early July. 

It is also hoped that some built heritage properties may begin opening in mid-August.

Despite the Trust’s financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus public health emergency, which has forced the placement of over 400 staff at risk of redundancy, the Trust’s Chairman has said how much he is looking forward to visitors returning as and when that becomes possible.

The Trust’s Chairman, Sir Mark Jones said:

“Our core purpose is to protect Scotland’s heritage for the benefit of everyone; we exist to ensure that people can access and enjoy the places we care for.

“I’m therefore delighted and encouraged to see that the Scottish Government has laid out the conditions and stages that now begin the process of allowing us to start welcoming our members and visitors again.  I know from the many messages we have received that people are sorely missing our wonderful landscapes.

“Initially visitors will be returning to our natural heritage sites and I hope people will abide by the Scottish Government’s restrictions that enable local travel only.  In other words, stay local, stay safe and please don’t travel more than five miles to reach our properties.  This is not just a civic duty but also for the wellbeing of rural communities.

“I must also point out that local travel excludes Canna and Fair Isle and sea-borne visitors should stay away in order to protect island residents.

“Notwithstanding, the acute problems we are working though due to the loss of half of our income, our dedicated teams are now making places ready and safe for the return of visitors. Although it seems self-evident that nature takes care of itself, that isn’t strictly true.  Landscapes do need to be managed, habitats need to be guarded, footpaths need to be repaired and gardens and woodlands need to be tended, and we’ve been doing as much as we can during lockdown.

“Even though our magnificent countryside belongs to us all, and we revel in Scotland’s unique ‘right to roam’, the reality is that our stewardship of the natural environment in our care costs money.

“That’s why in our hour of need, we’re asking for help so that we can keep doing what we do to safeguard our unrivalled landscapes.”

In early May, when the Trust first announced its financial challenges and resultant emergency measures, the charity confirmed that it did not anticipate opening more than half of its built heritage properties again this year due to a number of factors. It has now shared the list of such properties it hopes to re-open this year, possibly in mid-August, those that are likely to stay closed until Easter 2021 and a few that may have to stay closed until 2022.

Simon Skinner added:

“I said at the outset that the Trust is in trouble through no fault of our own – our only way back is to take action now and make some difficult choices.

“We are going to have to live within our means – not just at the moment while lockdown is still effectively in full force, but in the coming months too when such public sector support as there is dries up and the wider visitor economy remains badly wounded. For the Trust to remain a going concern, we have to decide which properties we can afford to open, either because they will generate sufficient visitor numbers to help with our recovery or because we can find ways to re-open them that will be compliant with the new normal of public health restrictions.

“We have already missed the busiest season for some properties, and it simply isn’t viable to re-open them in the latter part of the year.  So, we will keep them closed until the ‘new’ season begins in Easter of 2021. Having said that, in some cases where the historic building or centre is closed, it will still be possible to admit visitors to grounds and gardens.

“In a few cases, such is the unsuitable configuration of the buildings in terms of social distancing, or the scale of their running costs, that we will have to consider keeping them closed longer – perhaps into 2022 – until when we hope conditions will have improved sufficiently to bring about a return to better days.

“I appreciate that many people will be disappointed if their favourite property is closed for a time longer. These are not choices we wanted to make, but we need to take them to ensure that the Trust gets through this period and emerges from the other side ready to do what it does best.

“We have approached the Scottish Government for financial support and, if this were forthcoming, it may allow us to open more properties more quickly.

“Nonetheless, if people want to help us recover faster, going beyond basic survival, I urge them to support us by remaining as members or donating to our new emergency appeal.  We have always existed for the benefit for the people of Scotland as funded by our members and supporters - with a little more help we can save the Trust and in turn we can return to saving Scotland’s national treasures at our full capacity.”

National Trust for Scotland Press Office. Contact Jim Whyteside on 07889 456779 or Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr on 07713 786277.

 

National Trust for Scotland

 

Countryside Properties re-opening imminently (local access only until Stage 3 of Scottish Government Route Map)

 

Region

Property

Current situation

Open/Close A/W 2020/2021

Open/Close Full Year 2021/2022

Type (BH/NH)

Highlands & Islands

Ben Lawers

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Burg

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Corrieshalloch

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Iona

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Kintail

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Mingulay, Pabbay & Berneray

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Staffa

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Torridon

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Unst

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

West Affric

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

South & West

Ben Lomond

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

South & West

Goatfell (Brodick Castle) Ranger

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

South & West

The Pend

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

South & West

Rockliffe

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Edinburgh & East

St Abbs Head

Partially Open/Partially Operational (car park will be open by 12th June, toilets and Visitor Centre remain closed)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Edinburgh & East

The Pineapple

Open Unstaffed

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

 

 

Please note that the following is still subject to formal consultation:

 

Properties proposed to re-open in 2020 (Gardens and grounds possibly by July; Some historic buildings and visitor centres possibly from mid-August)

Region

Property

Current situation

Open/Close A/W 2020/2021

Open/Close Full Year 2021/2022

Type (BH/NH)

Highlands & Islands

Mingulay, Pabbay & Berneray

Closed to public (Coronavirus/island travel restrictions)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Staffa

Closed to public (Coronavirus/island travel restrictions)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Unst

Closed to public (Coronavirus/island travel restrictions)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Iona

Closed to public (Coronavirus/island travel restrictions)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Burg

Closed to public (Coronavirus/island travel restrictions)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Boath Doocot

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Scheduled/Seasonal)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Brodie

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Canna

Closed to public (Coronavirus/island travel restrictions)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Culloden

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Fair Isle

Closed to public (Coronavirus/island travel restrictions)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Glencoe

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built/Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Glenfinnan

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Inverewe

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Moirlanich

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

St Kilda

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Coronavirus/island travel restrictions)

If possible – could be conservation access only

Yes

Natural Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Urqhuart Castle

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes – subject to HES operations

Yes

Natural Heritage

North East

Crathes Castle

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

Drum Castle

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Arduaine Garden

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Burns Birthplace

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Brodick Country Park

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Crarae Garden

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Culzean Gardens and Country Park

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Geilston House

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Greenbank

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Hill House

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Threave

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

_

Mar Lodge Estate

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Balmerino Abbey

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Branklyn Garden

Closed to public (Scheduled/

Seasonal)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Culross

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Garden will open at stage 2 but palace and retail will stay closed.

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Dollar Glen

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Car park is open now

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Dunkeld

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Not a property as such but if refers to El shop, it is closed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Grey Mare's Tail

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Car park is open now

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Hermitage

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Car park is open now

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Inveresk

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Killiecrankie

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Car park is open now, toilets and Visitor Centre will remain closed

Yes

Yes

Natural Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Malleny

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Culross

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Garden will open at Stage 2 but palace and retail will stay closed

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Preston Mill

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Priorwood

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Robert Smail’s Print Works

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

 

Properties proposed to stay closed until season 2021/2022

Region

Property

Current situation

Open/Close A/W 2020/2021

Open/Close Full Year 2021/2022

Type (BH/NH)

Highlands & Islands

Abertarff house

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

Highlands & Islands

Hugh Miller’s Cottage

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

JM Barrie’s Birthplace

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

Barry Mill

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Grounds open

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

Craigievar Castle

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Grounds open

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

Fyvie Castle

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Grounds open

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

Haddo House

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Grounds open

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

House of Dun

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Grounds open

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

JM Barrie’s Birthplace

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

North East

Pitmedden

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Bachelors’ Club

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Ben Lomond (Bunkhouse)

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Brodick Castle

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Broughton House

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Carlyle's Birthplace

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Culzean Castle

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

Yes

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Pollok House

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

May reopen or 0part reopen in 2020 – to be confirmed

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Tenement House

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

South & West

Weavers Cottage

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

No

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Alloa Tower

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Scheduled/Seasonal)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Falkland Palace

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Gardens will reopen in 2020

No

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Georgian House

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Gladstone’s Land

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Scheduled/Seasonal) Closed due to conservation project - anticipate opening by August 2021

No

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Kellie Castle

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Coronavirus) Gardens will open in 2020, no access to castle

No

Yes

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Newhailes

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Grounds and car park will reopen next week

No

Yes

Built Heritage

 

Properties proposed to stay closed until season 2022/2023

Region

Property

Current situation

Open/Close A/W 2020/2021

Open/Close Full Year 2021/2022

Type (BH/NH)

North East

Leith Hall

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

No

Built Heritage

South & West

Holmwood

Closed to public (Coronavirus)

No

No

Built Heritage

South & West

Souter Johnnie’s Cottage

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Coronavirus)

No

No

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Bannockburn (Visitor Centre)

Closed to public (Coronavirus) Car park, grounds and monuments are currently open

No

No

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Hill of Tarvit

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Coronavirus) Grounds and car parks will be open by July 2020

No

No

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

House of the Binns

Fully Closed/Not Operational (Scheduled/Seasonal) Grounds will be open in 2020

No

No

Built Heritage

Edinburgh & East

Kippen Smiddy

Closed to public (Scheduled/Seasonal)

No

No

Built Heritage

 

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