The popular Arlington Bluebell Walk will be going ahead this spring starting on Monday April 12.
Organisers have worked incredibly hard to ensure that the site is safe and adheres to all Covid restrictions.
It will open on April 12 and run daily until Wednesday May 19 from 10am until 5pm.
Many thousands of people visit the Bluebell Walk every year, supporting Sussex charities, who benefit from the entrance fee
The 2020 event was cancelled due to Lockdown, and organiser John McCutchan is thrilled it has been given the go-ahead for 2021, albeit in a different format.
John says: “We have thought long and hard on the details of how we could open’ but am positive we have got it about right for our visitors.
He said: “I am delighted to be opening on April 12 and thrilled that we can welcome back the general public to the Bluebell Walk once again.
“The past year has been so turbulent, and Covid has affected every one of us in some way, but the future looks brighter as more people receive their jabs.
“It has to be a slimmed down version for this year, to ensure the safety of our charity volunteers and our visitors.
“Nevertheless, we look forward to a successful period from April 12 until May 19, and of course it is local charities which will benefit each day. That is very important to me.”
A pre-booking system has been introduced, so that every hour from 10am until 4pm each day, a maximum of 65 visitors will be allowed.
The Information Kiosk will be located at the farm entrance gate for charity volunteers to check that only visitors with booked slots can enter
Adult entrance fees have been reduced from £6 to £5 with no separate concessions or family prices. There is a £2.50 entrance fee for children aged between 6 and 16.
The Bluebell Barn cannot be used, which means there will be no food on offer.
The Farm Walks will not be open so the only Walk is the Bluebell Walk through Beatons Wood, which is one way round with a separate entrance and exit.https://fa96324c25f375d73a6d4af0a038ba85.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
There will be no petting animals in the Animal Barn, but as it is large and well ventilated, this means that Arlington Church can hold their successful Plant Stall in the middle, but viewing will be one way round only.
Organisers will provide extra portable loos and ample hand sanitizer dispensers around the site as the safety of the visitors and charity volunteers is paramount.
Around 20 charities will benefit from the money raised. They include Children with Cancer Fund, Canine Partners, Hailsham Lions Club, local Rotary clubs, The JPK Project, Cancer Research UK and Memory Lane Eastbourne.
Also this year Bates Green Garden will be open to those who have booked to visit the Bluebell Walk, but with a separate entrance fee of £7.00 adults and £3.50 children aged 6-16 yearshttps://fa96324c25f375d73a6d4af0a038ba85.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Since January 2020, Emma Reece, who was a student under John’s late wife Carolyn 20 years ago, has restored this tranquil plantsman’s Garden, so for the first time in five years it will again be open to the public.
Arlington Bluebell Walk is at Bates Green Farm Tye Hill Road Arlington, Polegate East Sussex, BN26 6SH.
For more details, go to www.bluebellwalk.co.uk.
Picture by Peter Goldsmith.