Following a nine-month closure of the gardens due to the pandemic, Durham University is set to reopen the Botanic Gardens on the first day of the new term, with free entry until the end of March to thank the public for their continuing support.
Covering 24 acres, the Garden is set amongst beautiful mature woodlands on the southern outskirts of Durham City and offers a wide variety of landscapes to explore and discover. It usually attracts around 80,000 visitors per year.
It has been closed to the public since March, although University students and staff have been allowed to visit since September to enjoy outdoor exercise.
Mike Hughes, the Head Gardener, has said: “We’re very excited to be welcoming visitors back to the Botanic Garden from January. We’ve been hard at work in the nine months since we closed, so visitors can look forward to plenty to explore and enjoy.”
During the closure, Mr Hughes has been helping friends and supporters keep in touch with how the Garden has changed through a popular daily photo blog, which now runs to thousands of beautiful images. Each day, Mr Hughes has entertained readers with new photographs and supporting botanical information.
“It’s been great to be able to keep in touch with friends and regular visitors during these long months through the blog. I’ve been amazed at its popularity,” he said.
“I’m grateful for everyone’s support, and I know many readers are very much looking forward to seeing the Garden for real, rather than only through my photos.”
Public opening times will be Monday to Friday, 10am to 2.30pm. University students and staff can access the Garden from Monday to Friday, 9am to 3.30pm.