UPDATED MARCH 20TH 11:55
As you can imagine, we have been monitoring the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) very closely over recent weeks and following all advice from government and health authorities. Until earlier this week, and in line with Government advice at the time, we had planned to go ahead with our Fairs, especially as all our events are held outside with plenty of scope for social distancing. However, in the light of the major changes in the Government advice made on March 16th, and in consultation with our nurseries, our host gardens and our supported charities, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the following Fairs:
March 22nd - The Bishop's Palace, Wells, Somerset
April 5th - Evenley Wood Gardens, Nr. Brackley, Northants
April 19th - The Old Rectory, Quenington, Nr. Cirencester
May 17th - Winterbourne House and Gardens, Birmingham
We have not taken this decision lightly, but the health and well-being of everyone attending our events, including visitors, exhibitors and the staff at our host gardens, is of the greatest importance to us.
We now need to consult with the hosts of our other Fairs and any further changes to our programme will be publicised here on our website, so please check back regularly for the latest information. We'll also publicise any changes via our telephone Information Line, and on our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our intention is to make decisions on the remaining May fairs in early May, and our June fairs in early June.
Government guidance on Coronavirus, and the measures that we all need to take to stay safe, are available at the Public Health England website.
The fact that we are having to cancel events is a great sadness for us, and we are concerned about the impact that cancellations will have on the livelihoods of our participating nurseries and exhibitors, many of whom rely extensively or even completely on events such as ours for their income. Please try to support our dedicated and knowledgeable nursery owners as much as you can in other ways, either by mail order where they offer it, or by visiting their nurseries if and whilst they remain open to the public. You can find the full list of our nurseries at http://www.rareplantfair.co.uk/our-nurseries/ and click on the nursery name to find their contact details.