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Car parking charges at Wakehurst Place

Later this spring we will be introducing charges for car parking at Wakehurst. The charges are likely to commence from mid to late April, but the exact timing will depend on the completion of the installation works.

Photo of the Mansion House at Wakehurst Place
The Mansion at Wakehurst

Joint statement between National Trust and Kew

In a joint statement Sir Simon Jenkins, Chairman, National Trust, and Marcus Agius, Chairman, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said:

'The National Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have been working together to find a sustainable future for Kew at Wakehurst Place.

'The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew currently maintains the gardens, woodlands and the Mansion at Wakehurst Place, in accordance with a lease from the National Trust. Despite being run efficiently and effectively, the net cost to Kew of running Wakehurst Place is such that we have reached a point where greater income is needed if we are to continue our outstanding horticultural standards and the wonderful visitor experience that have made Wakehurst one of the Trust’s most popular properties.

'We have agreed that the best way to raise this much needed income is through the introduction of car parking charges in April 2014.'

Additional parking fee

Wakehurst Place Season Ticket holders, Friends of Kew and those who purchase a day ticket to enter Wakehurst will not need to pay the additional fee for car parking.

National Trust members will retain their free entry to Wakehurst Place, but will pay to park. Cars will cost annually from £25, £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours and £10 per day

Group visits in minibuses and coaches will either pay the current discounted group entry rate for each passenger, or an agreed fee based on the number of paying visitors in the coach.

As well as allowing Kew to maintain the current high standards at Wakehurst Place, the charging model allows Kew to link directly its income to the number of visitors. This, in turn, opens the door to investing in the landscape and visitor offer.

Find out more in our Visit Information section.

Why we are doing this

Kew absorbs the majority of the costs of running Wakehurst Place and, despite doing so efficiently and effectively, we have a net deficit of £1.4m.

80% of visitors to Wakehurst Place are National Trust members, who access the gardens without payment to Kew. An endowment provided to the National Trust by Wakehurst’s last private owner, Sir Henry Price, contributes approximately £80,000 a year to the management of the house and gardens. Consequently, Kew needs to find opportunities to raise the required income to support the gardens at Wakehurst.

For the past five years we have been working together with the National Trust to identify and evaluate different options to ensure a sustainable future for Wakehurst Place. We want to invest in Wakehurst and continue to offer a world class garden and nature reserve, and programme of events for our visitors. The introduction of car parking charges will help us to do this.

You can download the full business plan which sets out the reasons for the introduction of parking charges - Business plan for car parking charges.

  • free entry to the gardens and Millennium Seed Bank all year round
  • free car parking
  • one free ticket to Kew Gardens (worth £14.50)
  • two free exclusive open evenings, 10% off purchases in the Visitor Centre Shop and Plant Centre (some exclusions apply)

Your chance to ask questions

The support of our visitors is vital to our long term future and we are grateful to the huge number of people who visit the Gardens every year. That’s why we want to explain the reasons for our decision and give you a chance to have your say on the change.

Richard Deverell, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Andy Jackson, Director, Wakehurst Place, and Andy Semple, National Trust Director for London and South East, will be hosting public consultation meetings for any visitors to Wakehurst who would like to ask questions or find out any further information.

They will be taking place on the following dates and times:

Monday 17 March
Morning session: 10.30–11.30am
Afternoon session: 1–2pm

Monday 24 March
Morning session: 10.30am - fully booked
Afternoon session: 1pm - fully booked
Evening session: 7pm - very few spaces remaining

Please contact wakehurst@kew.org or telephone 01444 894067 to register your interest, stating clearly which session you wish to attend.

All sessions will take place in the Dining Room in the Mansion.

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Comments

27 February 2014
Further to Peter Burton's comments. I have already raised most of these points with Andy Jackson direct by email. With apologies to him if I have misunderstood his views...... He believes that he has made the correct decision and that increasing car park charges is the only option. He stands by the decision and understands the consequences for him and his staff. I doubt if the business case will ever be published so we have to take his word for it. Time will tell if it was the correct decision. It does however, seem to be a bit of a PR disaster. I think it might be helpful if Andy was to post a response to peter's points below. I would also be interested to hear from Andy Semple but his email in box seems to be permanently full.Further to Peter Burton's comments. I have already raised most of these points with Andy Jackson direct by email. With apologies to him if I have misunderstood his views...... He believes that he has made the correct decision and that increasing car park charges is the only option. He stands by the decision and understands the consequences for him and his staff. I doubt if the business case will ever be published so we have to take his word for it. Time will tell if it was the correct decision. It does however, seem to be a bit of a PR disaster. I think it might be helpful if Andy was to post a response to peter's points below. I would also be interested to hear from Andy Semple but his email in box seems to be permanently full.Further to Peter Burton's comments. I have already raised most of these points with Andy Jackson direct by email. With apologies to him if I have misunderstood his views...... He believes that he has made the correct decision and that increasing car park charges is the only option. He stands by the decision and understands the consequences for him and his staff. I doubt if the business case will ever be published so we have to take his word for it. Time will tell if it was the correct decision. It does however, seem to be a bit of a PR disaster. I think it might be helpful if Andy was to post a response to peter's points below. I would also be interested to hear from Andy Semple but his email in box seems to be permanently full.Further to Peter Burton's comments. I have already raised most of these points with Andy Jackson direct by email. With apologies to him if I have misunderstood his views...... He believes that he has made the correct decision and that increasing car park charges is the only option. He stands by the decision and understands the consequences for him and his staff. I doubt if the business case will ever be published so we have to take his word for it. Time will tell if it was the correct decision. It does however, seem to be a bit of a PR disaster. I think it might be helpful if Andy was to post a response to peter's points below. I would also be interested to hear from Andy Semple but his email in box seems to be permanently full.
26 February 2014
I bought National Trust life memberships for myself and my husband, my daughter and her husband and both our Grandchildren at a cost of over £4,000. Mainly because Wakehurst is local and an excellent place to meet family and friends for coffee/lunch and a short walk. I feel totally cheated that I have spent all of that money so that we could all enjoy Wakehurst whenever we wanted and now none of us will be able to go apart from very special occasions. My daughter is a very hard up, stay at home Mother she cannot afford the parking charges. My husband and I often pop in for a coffee and cake. I often just drop in to buy a Birthday card. I won't be doing either of those things any more. Why would I spend and extra £2.00 on a cup of coffee, or a Birthday card? Why is the annual parking ticket so expensive? For us and for our daughter and family we would have to have 2 tickets at an annual cost of £50.00. I do not think we should be paying at all, however if there must be an annual fee then £10.00 per year would still keep me coming in for my (quite expensive) coffee and cake, plus purchases from the shop. Surely you are going to lose a lot of revenue from the cafe and shop? I am so disappointed that just as I am about to retire and enjoy the investment I had made in a life membership, I will not be able to use it at Wakehurst. I feel that the life membership has been falsely sold to me, and I am not getting the service I purchased it for. I also feel I am being discriminated against, as I understand that had I have been a Kew Member my car parking would have continued to have been free. I would also like to object that all your consultation meetings are in the daytime. I work full time as a Headteacher and therefore cannot attend your meetings. Charging for car parking is not the solution to this problem, it damages the reputation of Wakehurst, Kew and the National Trust as trusted, honest, family friendly organisations.
26 February 2014
I live locally, I visit regularly and spend money in both your cafe, restaurant and shop. I can assure you I won't be visiting if these changes are made. I appreciate you need to obtain money but there are other means of doing this. I feel this is not an appropriate way.
26 February 2014
why don't ardingly show ground have a £2 per day car park They would make a bomb!
26 February 2014
Having just visited Wakehurst and heard so many people there commenting negatively about this proposal I felt I must add my voice to those expressing their disapproval. I can understand the need to raise revenue, but the proposed costs are a joke. I suspect that may people would be prepared to accept a nominal charge of not more than £2 (even this may be too much for some) or even a £1 entry fee per person, but certainly not the levels proposed. It seems to me that Kew and NT have completely miscalculated the likely effect on their finances. I am sure that attendance will fall dramatically which will result in the levy raising far less money than Kew expect, and would not be surprised to learn that they will be forced to close completely during the winter months when the vast majority of attendees are regular locals who will not be prepared to pay. The biggest effect will be on revenue for the food and shop concessions. Who benefits from this, Kew or the NT? If it is Kew then they are taking the risk that their total revenue will fall as a result of the parking charges. If it is the NT then they will take the hit in addition to the loss of revenue from cancelled subscriptions from those of us for whom Wakehurst admission is the main benefit we get from membership. It might well be in the interests of the NT to increase their subsidy to Kew so as to avoid any loss in subscription income. Finally, I would add that if Kew thinks that they will be able to reverse the decision after a year if it does not prove financially viable, then they should also understand that it could take several years to regain the trust that has been lost, and get attendance back to 2013 levels. I suggest they think again before it is too late. Having just visited Wakehurst and heard so many people there commenting negatively about this proposal I felt I must add my voice to those expressing their disapproval. I can understand the need to raise revenue, but the proposed costs are a joke. I suspect that may people would be prepared to accept a nominal charge of not more than £2 (even this may be too much for some) or even a £1 entry fee per person, but certainly not the levels proposed. It seems to me that Kew and NT have completely miscalculated the likely effect on their finances. I am sure that attendance will fall dramatically which will result in the levy raising far less money than Kew expect, and would not be surprised to learn that they will be forced to close completely during the winter months when the vast majority of attendees are regular locals who will not be prepared to pay. The biggest effect will be on revenue for the food and shop concessions. Who benefits from this, Kew or the NT? If it is Kew then they are taking the risk that their total revenue will fall as a result of the parking charges. If it is the NT then they will take the hit in addition to the loss of revenue from cancelled subscriptions from those of us for whom Wakehurst admission is the main benefit we get from membership. It might well be in the interests of the NT to increase their subsidy to Kew so as to avoid any loss in subscription income. Finally, I would add that if Kew thinks that they will be able to reverse the decision after a year if it does not prove financially viable, then they should also understand that it could take several years to regain the trust that has been lost, and get attendance back to 2013 levels. I suggest they think again before it is too late. Having just visited Wakehurst and heard so many people there commenting negatively about this proposal I felt I must add my voice to those expressing their disapproval. I can understand the need to raise revenue, but the proposed costs are a joke. I suspect that may people would be prepared to accept a nominal charge of not more than £2 (even this may be too much for some) or even a £1 entry fee per person, but certainly not the levels proposed. It seems to me that Kew and NT have completely miscalculated the likely effect on their finances. I am sure that attendance will fall dramatically which will result in the levy raising far less money than Kew expect, and would not be surprised to learn that they will be forced to close completely during the winter months when the vast majority of attendees are regular locals who will not be prepared to pay. The biggest effect will be on revenue for the food and shop concessions. Who benefits from this, Kew or the NT? If it is Kew then they are taking the risk that their total revenue will fall as a result of the parking charges. If it is the NT then they will take the hit in addition to the loss of revenue from cancelled subscriptions from those of us for whom Wakehurst admission is the main benefit we get from membership. It might well be in the interests of the NT to increase their subsidy to Kew so as to avoid any loss in subscription income. Finally, I would add that if Kew thinks that they will be able to reverse the decision after a year if it does not prove financially viable, then they should also understand that it could take several years to regain the trust that has been lost, and get attendance back to 2013 levels. I suggest they think again before it is too late. Having just visited Wakehurst and heard so many people there commenting negatively about this proposal I felt I must add my voice to those expressing their disapproval. I can understand the need to raise revenue, but the proposed costs are a joke. I suspect that may people would be prepared to accept a nominal charge of not more than £2 (even this may be too much for some) or even a £1 entry fee per person, but certainly not the levels proposed. It seems to me that Kew and NT have completely miscalculated the likely effect on their finances. I am sure that attendance will fall dramatically which will result in the levy raising far less money than Kew expect, and would not be surprised to learn that they will be forced to close completely during the winter months when the vast majority of attendees are regular locals who will not be prepared to pay. The biggest effect will be on revenue for the food and shop concessions. Who benefits from this, Kew or the NT? If it is Kew then they are taking the risk that their total revenue will fall as a result of the parking charges. If it is the NT then they will take the hit in addition to the loss of revenue from cancelled subscriptions from those of us for whom Wakehurst admission is the main benefit we get from membership. It might well be in the interests of the NT to increase their subsidy to Kew so as to avoid any loss in subscription income. Finally, I would add that if Kew thinks that they will be able to reverse the decision after a year if it does not prove financially viable, then they should also understand that it could take several years to regain the trust that has been lost, and get attendance back to 2013 levels. I suggest they think again before it is too late.
26 February 2014
I should like to make the following comments about the car parking discussion. 1. I assume there is a business case for Kew to lease the property from the National Trust and that if they didn't do so they would have to find an alternative site, which they would have to pay for (difficult and expensive to find in the South East). I assume this amount should be factored into any discussion about the cost of running the site. It appears that at present Kew does not pay anything to the Trust for using the site but provides the site upkeep. 2. The sum of £80,000 has been mentioned as the National Trust contribution. Does the National Trust not contribute anything from central funds on a per visitor per head basis? Has this been discussed and rejected? 3. I assume that if Kew are finding the site too expensive to run they have the option of handing the lease back to the National Trust and for the Trust to run the site from central funds. I assume a charge would then be made to Kew for the seed bank and other exclusive Kew-related activities not connected directly to NT membership activities. 4. No mention has been made as to how such a complicated charging system will be operated and how much such a system will cost to install. What is the proposed payback time for installing and running such a system? How will the system cope if you overstay your allocated time? 5. It is obvious that the proposed charging system is almost universally disliked and will decrease visitor numbers and purchases made in the shop and in the restaurants. It would be interesting to see how the business case numbers stack up - indicating both the increased revenue from car parking charges and the consequent loss of income from onsite sales in the shops and restaurants? 6. Call me cynical but proposing a consultation over such an expensive and complicated system smacks of political spin doctoring and an eventual outcome of a £2 parking charge for everyone. This way members will feel their voice has been heard and they have won a victory! 7. If a proper consultation process is to take place much more information needs to be published on this site regarding the finances and mechanics of the proposal so that those attending the consultation meeting will be in a proper position to express views based on 'hard' evidence. I again assume that the business case has already been made and that this could be published on this site without much additional work. It would also be interesting to know what the views are of the company providing the catering services about the probable loss in visitor numbers and their profits. 8. Sorry to post such a long comment but I thought these issues should be raised. In my view it would have been more honest, if additional money needs to be raised, for either the National Trust to contribute from central funds or to charge members, say, £1 to visit. This would keep visitor numbers high and probably generate much more money (especially after taking into account the capital and administrative costs of running a parking system) from income generated by the shop and the restaurants as well the £1 fee (not children). As most visitors come by car and have at least two members in the car charging a £1 for each visitor would contribute more overall and not put off visitors who will balk at a £10 car parking charge. 9. A final thought. If this is a business perhaps management should look at other methods of generating additional revenue from commercial uses of the site that would not interfere with the enjoyment of visitors. Car parking charging seems an easy and lazy solution to the problem which will probably make the financial situation worse rather than better.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
26 February 2014
In common with many other NT members we too feel that this decision will misfire and end up seriously reducing the numbers visiting Wakehurst. We have been regular visitors over the past years and have usually had meals and snacks at the restaurant and often made purchases from the shop as well. We always assumed that the National Trust paid a sum towards the running of the site for every member visiting Wakehurst as it does for other locations and are surprised that this does not appear to be the case. The introduction of a sensible flat rate parking charge of £2-£3 might be acceptable but the exorbitant rates suggested can only have the adverse effect of reducing the number of visitors to Wakehurst. It will definitely stop us!In common with many other NT members we too feel that this decision will misfire and end up seriously reducing the numbers visiting Wakehurst. We have been regular visitors over the past years and have usually had meals and snacks at the restaurant and often made purchases from the shop as well. We always assumed that the National Trust paid a sum towards the running of the site for every member visiting Wakehurst as it does for other locations and are surprised that this does not appear to be the case. The introduction of a sensible flat rate parking charge of £2-£3 might be acceptable but the exorbitant rates suggested can only have the adverse effect of reducing the number of visitors to Wakehurst. It will definitely stop us!In common with many other NT members we too feel that this decision will misfire and end up seriously reducing the numbers visiting Wakehurst. We have been regular visitors over the past years and have usually had meals and snacks at the restaurant and often made purchases from the shop as well. We always assumed that the National Trust paid a sum towards the running of the site for every member visiting Wakehurst as it does for other locations and are surprised that this does not appear to be the case. The introduction of a sensible flat rate parking charge of £2-£3 might be acceptable but the exorbitant rates suggested can only have the adverse effect of reducing the number of visitors to Wakehurst. It will definitely stop us!In common with many other NT members we too feel that this decision will misfire and end up seriously reducing the numbers visiting Wakehurst. We have been regular visitors over the past years and have usually had meals and snacks at the restaurant and often made purchases from the shop as well. We always assumed that the National Trust paid a sum towards the running of the site for every member visiting Wakehurst as it does for other locations and are surprised that this does not appear to be the case. The introduction of a sensible flat rate parking charge of £2-£3 might be acceptable but the exorbitant rates suggested can only have the adverse effect of reducing the number of visitors to Wakehurst. It will definitely stop us!In common with many other NT members we too feel that this decision will misfire and end up seriously reducing the numbers visiting Wakehurst. We have been regular visitors over the past years and have usually had meals and snacks at the restaurant and often made purchases from the shop as well. We always assumed that the National Trust paid a sum towards the running of the site for every member visiting Wakehurst as it does for other locations and are surprised that this does not appear to be the case. The introduction of a sensible flat rate parking charge of £2-£3 might be acceptable but the exorbitant rates suggested can only have the adverse effect of reducing the number of visitors to Wakehurst. It will definitely stop us!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
26 February 2014
To Jon (below). I am glad to see that for some, who appear to have an ever increasing amount of disposable income, that these charges or perhaps any charges are inconsequential. It is more than crystal clear, from the 99% of posts on this blog, that those who feel like you do are in an almost inconsequential minority. I do so wish that I was in a "money no object" position to embrace this as you are. However, I do not and cannot see myself ever having that luxury ! And I say this as yet to start collecting my state pension, if one will actually exist if/when I can actually retire.
26 February 2014
There are 21 people at the NT who earn over £100,000 PA, so I suppose a £10 charge does not seem very much to them.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
26 February 2014
Unfortunately we will not be able to attend any of the public meetings where more detail about the changes and their potential benefits will be discussed. We do hope, however, that our views expressed here will be considered. We, like many others are pensioners, have a family NT membership. For many years we have both enjoyed visiting Wakehurst Place. We spend time wandering at leisure through the gardens, often during the summer months these walks are extensive. We try to visit different parts of Wakehurst each time. Photography and bird watching always lengthen our times. When we visited recently the staff were at pains to advise us of the impending car parking charges. We read, to our dismay that the charge would be £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours and £10 per day. Normally as well as our walks we normally have lunch and often buy things from the shop. Todays visit cost us £22 for lunch and another £18 spent in the shop. By the time we have wandered round the extensive gardens, had lunch and shopped we may well exceed two hours and have to pay the higher charge of £10. I would not object to paying £2 up to say four hours and £5 thereafter but £10 a visit no way! We certainly dont want to clock watch on our often lengthy walks and spoil our enjoyment from examining the plants in detail. Our family NT membership is not cheap and we and I am sure many others cannot afford to be members of Wakehurst as well. The current offer of a Wakehurst Place Season Ticket for £25, even sugared with an offer of saving 10% on purchases in the shop isnt attractive. I am sure that along with many retirees, our living costs have been rising and yet our pensions and investments have not kept pace. We are going to have to make a decision about as to whether or not we stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Our options appear to be; 1 Taking out a single Wakehurst Place Season Ticket and keeping our NT Membership, 2 Taking out two Wakehurst Place Season Tickets and cancelling our NT Membership, 3 To stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Over the years we have found that the shop has been our first port of call for those difficult to find presents. Furthermore we have enjoyed having a walk and then having lunch at the Stables. It will be disappointing to not visit but the decision to charge for parking at Wakehurst at the proposed levels has precipitated us to consider the value of our NT Membership. The fact that the NT appears to have acquiesced to Kews proposals is a matter of concern. This is not an easy decision, but one of the places that we visit abroad, with our resident family is owned by the Queensland National Trust has recently change their policy, whereas previously we got free entry now the discount is only 50% with this added into the equation our view at this moment is that we are likely to not visit Wakehurst in the future and cancel our NT Membership as well. We imagine that many people will be in a similar position. Wakehurst admit already that they expect a 40% drop in visitors as a result of bringing in the charges. I wonder how the franchise holders of the Stables and the Seed Café will feel if they are faced with a drop of 40% in customers. Reading other comments it may well be greater than this as people will offset the parking costs by not using either the Stables or the Seed Café. I wonder if the National Trust have worked out how many members make like us be on the verge of cancelling our membership. Perhaps I should close with the advice from Sir Humphrey to his minister, If you are going to do this damn silly thing, dont do it in this damn silly way! Unfortunately we will not be able to attend any of the public meetings where more detail about the changes and their potential benefits will be discussed. We do hope, however, that our views expressed here will be considered. We, like many others are pensioners, have a family NT membership. For many years we have both enjoyed visiting Wakehurst Place. We spend time wandering at leisure through the gardens, often during the summer months these walks are extensive. We try to visit different parts of Wakehurst each time. Photography and bird watching always lengthen our times. When we visited recently the staff were at pains to advise us of the impending car parking charges. We read, to our dismay that the charge would be £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours and £10 per day. Normally as well as our walks we normally have lunch and often buy things from the shop. Todays visit cost us £22 for lunch and another £18 spent in the shop. By the time we have wandered round the extensive gardens, had lunch and shopped we may well exceed two hours and have to pay the higher charge of £10. I would not object to paying £2 up to say four hours and £5 thereafter but £10 a visit no way! We certainly dont want to clock watch on our often lengthy walks and spoil our enjoyment from examining the plants in detail. Our family NT membership is not cheap and we and I am sure many others cannot afford to be members of Wakehurst as well. The current offer of a Wakehurst Place Season Ticket for £25, even sugared with an offer of saving 10% on purchases in the shop isnt attractive. I am sure that along with many retirees, our living costs have been rising and yet our pensions and investments have not kept pace. We are going to have to make a decision about as to whether or not we stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Our options appear to be; 1 Taking out a single Wakehurst Place Season Ticket and keeping our NT Membership, 2 Taking out two Wakehurst Place Season Tickets and cancelling our NT Membership, 3 To stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Over the years we have found that the shop has been our first port of call for those difficult to find presents. Furthermore we have enjoyed having a walk and then having lunch at the Stables. It will be disappointing to not visit but the decision to charge for parking at Wakehurst at the proposed levels has precipitated us to consider the value of our NT Membership. The fact that the NT appears to have acquiesced to Kews proposals is a matter of concern. This is not an easy decision, but one of the places that we visit abroad, with our resident family is owned by the Queensland National Trust has recently change their policy, whereas previously we got free entry now the discount is only 50% with this added into the equation our view at this moment is that we are likely to not visit Wakehurst in the future and cancel our NT Membership as well. We imagine that many people will be in a similar position. Wakehurst admit already that they expect a 40% drop in visitors as a result of bringing in the charges. I wonder how the franchise holders of the Stables and the Seed Café will feel if they are faced with a drop of 40% in customers. Reading other comments it may well be greater than this as people will offset the parking costs by not using either the Stables or the Seed Café. I wonder if the National Trust have worked out how many members make like us be on the verge of cancelling our membership. Perhaps I should close with the advice from Sir Humphrey to his minister, If you are going to do this damn silly thing, dont do it in this damn silly way! Unfortunately we will not be able to attend any of the public meetings where more detail about the changes and their potential benefits will be discussed. We do hope, however, that our views expressed here will be considered. We, like many others are pensioners, have a family NT membership. For many years we have both enjoyed visiting Wakehurst Place. We spend time wandering at leisure through the gardens, often during the summer months these walks are extensive. We try to visit different parts of Wakehurst each time. Photography and bird watching always lengthen our times. When we visited recently the staff were at pains to advise us of the impending car parking charges. We read, to our dismay that the charge would be £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours and £10 per day. Normally as well as our walks we normally have lunch and often buy things from the shop. Todays visit cost us £22 for lunch and another £18 spent in the shop. By the time we have wandered round the extensive gardens, had lunch and shopped we may well exceed two hours and have to pay the higher charge of £10. I would not object to paying £2 up to say four hours and £5 thereafter but £10 a visit no way! We certainly dont want to clock watch on our often lengthy walks and spoil our enjoyment from examining the plants in detail. Our family NT membership is not cheap and we and I am sure many others cannot afford to be members of Wakehurst as well. The current offer of a Wakehurst Place Season Ticket for £25, even sugared with an offer of saving 10% on purchases in the shop isnt attractive. I am sure that along with many retirees, our living costs have been rising and yet our pensions and investments have not kept pace. We are going to have to make a decision about as to whether or not we stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Our options appear to be; 1 Taking out a single Wakehurst Place Season Ticket and keeping our NT Membership, 2 Taking out two Wakehurst Place Season Tickets and cancelling our NT Membership, 3 To stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Over the years we have found that the shop has been our first port of call for those difficult to find presents. Furthermore we have enjoyed having a walk and then having lunch at the Stables. It will be disappointing to not visit but the decision to charge for parking at Wakehurst at the proposed levels has precipitated us to consider the value of our NT Membership. The fact that the NT appears to have acquiesced to Kews proposals is a matter of concern. This is not an easy decision, but one of the places that we visit abroad, with our resident family is owned by the Queensland National Trust has recently change their policy, whereas previously we got free entry now the discount is only 50% with this added into the equation our view at this moment is that we are likely to not visit Wakehurst in the future and cancel our NT Membership as well. We imagine that many people will be in a similar position. Wakehurst admit already that they expect a 40% drop in visitors as a result of bringing in the charges. I wonder how the franchise holders of the Stables and the Seed Café will feel if they are faced with a drop of 40% in customers. Reading other comments it may well be greater than this as people will offset the parking costs by not using either the Stables or the Seed Café. I wonder if the National Trust have worked out how many members make like us be on the verge of cancelling our membership. Perhaps I should close with the advice from Sir Humphrey to his minister, If you are going to do this damn silly thing, dont do it in this damn silly way! Unfortunately we will not be able to attend any of the public meetings where more detail about the changes and their potential benefits will be discussed. We do hope, however, that our views expressed here will be considered. We, like many others are pensioners, have a family NT membership. For many years we have both enjoyed visiting Wakehurst Place. We spend time wandering at leisure through the gardens, often during the summer months these walks are extensive. We try to visit different parts of Wakehurst each time. Photography and bird watching always lengthen our times. When we visited recently the staff were at pains to advise us of the impending car parking charges. We read, to our dismay that the charge would be £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours and £10 per day. Normally as well as our walks we normally have lunch and often buy things from the shop. Todays visit cost us £22 for lunch and another £18 spent in the shop. By the time we have wandered round the extensive gardens, had lunch and shopped we may well exceed two hours and have to pay the higher charge of £10. I would not object to paying £2 up to say four hours and £5 thereafter but £10 a visit no way! We certainly dont want to clock watch on our often lengthy walks and spoil our enjoyment from examining the plants in detail. Our family NT membership is not cheap and we and I am sure many others cannot afford to be members of Wakehurst as well. The current offer of a Wakehurst Place Season Ticket for £25, even sugared with an offer of saving 10% on purchases in the shop isnt attractive. I am sure that along with many retirees, our living costs have been rising and yet our pensions and investments have not kept pace. We are going to have to make a decision about as to whether or not we stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Our options appear to be; 1 Taking out a single Wakehurst Place Season Ticket and keeping our NT Membership, 2 Taking out two Wakehurst Place Season Tickets and cancelling our NT Membership, 3 To stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Over the years we have found that the shop has been our first port of call for those difficult to find presents. Furthermore we have enjoyed having a walk and then having lunch at the Stables. It will be disappointing to not visit but the decision to charge for parking at Wakehurst at the proposed levels has precipitated us to consider the value of our NT Membership. The fact that the NT appears to have acquiesced to Kews proposals is a matter of concern. This is not an easy decision, but one of the places that we visit abroad, with our resident family is owned by the Queensland National Trust has recently change their policy, whereas previously we got free entry now the discount is only 50% with this added into the equation our view at this moment is that we are likely to not visit Wakehurst in the future and cancel our NT Membership as well. We imagine that many people will be in a similar position. Wakehurst admit already that they expect a 40% drop in visitors as a result of bringing in the charges. I wonder how the franchise holders of the Stables and the Seed Café will feel if they are faced with a drop of 40% in customers. Reading other comments it may well be greater than this as people will offset the parking costs by not using either the Stables or the Seed Café. I wonder if the National Trust have worked out how many members make like us be on the verge of cancelling our membership. Perhaps I should close with the advice from Sir Humphrey to his minister, If you are going to do this damn silly thing, dont do it in this damn silly way! Unfortunately we will not be able to attend any of the public meetings where more detail about the changes and their potential benefits will be discussed. We do hope, however, that our views expressed here will be considered. We, like many others are pensioners, have a family NT membership. For many years we have both enjoyed visiting Wakehurst Place. We spend time wandering at leisure through the gardens, often during the summer months these walks are extensive. We try to visit different parts of Wakehurst each time. Photography and bird watching always lengthen our times. When we visited recently the staff were at pains to advise us of the impending car parking charges. We read, to our dismay that the charge would be £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours and £10 per day. Normally as well as our walks we normally have lunch and often buy things from the shop. Todays visit cost us £22 for lunch and another £18 spent in the shop. By the time we have wandered round the extensive gardens, had lunch and shopped we may well exceed two hours and have to pay the higher charge of £10. I would not object to paying £2 up to say four hours and £5 thereafter but £10 a visit no way! We certainly dont want to clock watch on our often lengthy walks and spoil our enjoyment from examining the plants in detail. Our family NT membership is not cheap and we and I am sure many others cannot afford to be members of Wakehurst as well. The current offer of a Wakehurst Place Season Ticket for £25, even sugared with an offer of saving 10% on purchases in the shop isnt attractive. I am sure that along with many retirees, our living costs have been rising and yet our pensions and investments have not kept pace. We are going to have to make a decision about as to whether or not we stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Our options appear to be; 1 Taking out a single Wakehurst Place Season Ticket and keeping our NT Membership, 2 Taking out two Wakehurst Place Season Tickets and cancelling our NT Membership, 3 To stop visiting Wakehurst at all. Over the years we have found that the shop has been our first port of call for those difficult to find presents. Furthermore we have enjoyed having a walk and then having lunch at the Stables. It will be disappointing to not visit but the decision to charge for parking at Wakehurst at the proposed levels has precipitated us to consider the value of our NT Membership. The fact that the NT appears to have acquiesced to Kews proposals is a matter of concern. This is not an easy decision, but one of the places that we visit abroad, with our resident family is owned by the Queensland National Trust has recently change their policy, whereas previously we got free entry now the discount is only 50% with this added into the equation our view at this moment is that we are likely to not visit Wakehurst in the future and cancel our NT Membership as well. We imagine that many people will be in a similar position. Wakehurst admit already that they expect a 40% drop in visitors as a result of bringing in the charges. I wonder how the franchise holders of the Stables and the Seed Café will feel if they are faced with a drop of 40% in customers. Reading other comments it may well be greater than this as people will offset the parking costs by not using either the Stables or the Seed Café. I wonder if the National Trust have worked out how many members make like us be on the verge of cancelling our membership. Perhaps I should close with the advice from Sir Humphrey to his minister, If you are going to do this damn silly thing, dont do it in this damn silly way!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
26 February 2014
We also live locally and visit Wakehurst regularly, however, our membership is paid for by my father in law and it enables us to visit this wonderful place for fresh air and exercise. These parking charges will mean that we will not be able to visit Wakehurst any more and we are all very disappointed. It is not clear here but will the parking charges apply to those with a disabled badge?
26 February 2014
I bought lifetime membership 26 years ago so that I could visit Wakehurst Place then and also thinking I would be able to afford it when I retired. This is totally unfair as I visit often on my own and would therefore be charged £10 per visit. Obviously I will not be able to afford this. It is often impossible to visit Nymans as the car park is full. I feel very let down by an organisation that I trusted.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
26 February 2014
We live locally and visit Wakehurst regularly. Each visit includes meals bought in the restaurant, and items in the shop. Parking charges will mean that we will not visit in future therefore you will be losing income not gaining.
26 February 2014
The parking charges sound quite fair to me. Go to Brighton for a few hours shopping and it's £25. £10 a day to visit and park sounds quite fair. If it's to maintain wakehurst for the future enjoyment of others a few pounds to park isn't a big sacrifice. If u enjoy the place then u have to pay I guess
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
25 February 2014
I can only add my name to nearly all the previous comments. I currently visit Wakehurst 3 or 4 times a year and usually eat and drink in both the Stables Cafe and the visitor centre. In future I'll be going to Nymans, Standen, Polesden Lacey, RHS Wisley, etc. instead. National Trust won't care much because they will still get my annual membership and my cafe purchases, but Wakehurst will lose the revenue from my purchases each visit. It does seem that NT should be paying more to Kew for the running costs of Wakehurst though. It will be interesting to see what happens to passenger numbers on the route 82 Metrobus.I can only add my name to nearly all the previous comments. I currently visit Wakehurst 3 or 4 times a year and usually eat and drink in both the Stables Cafe and the visitor centre. In future I'll be going to Nymans, Standen, Polesden Lacey, RHS Wisley, etc. instead. National Trust won't care much because they will still get my annual membership and my cafe purchases, but Wakehurst will lose the revenue from my purchases each visit. It does seem that NT should be paying more to Kew for the running costs of Wakehurst though. It will be interesting to see what happens to passenger numbers on the route 82 Metrobus.I can only add my name to nearly all the previous comments. I currently visit Wakehurst 3 or 4 times a year and usually eat and drink in both the Stables Cafe and the visitor centre. In future I'll be going to Nymans, Standen, Polesden Lacey, RHS Wisley, etc. instead. National Trust won't care much because they will still get my annual membership and my cafe purchases, but Wakehurst will lose the revenue from my purchases each visit. It does seem that NT should be paying more to Kew for the running costs of Wakehurst though. It will be interesting to see what happens to passenger numbers on the route 82 Metrobus.I can only add my name to nearly all the previous comments. I currently visit Wakehurst 3 or 4 times a year and usually eat and drink in both the Stables Cafe and the visitor centre. In future I'll be going to Nymans, Standen, Polesden Lacey, RHS Wisley, etc. instead. National Trust won't care much because they will still get my annual membership and my cafe purchases, but Wakehurst will lose the revenue from my purchases each visit. It does seem that NT should be paying more to Kew for the running costs of Wakehurst though. It will be interesting to see what happens to passenger numbers on the route 82 Metrobus.I can only add my name to nearly all the previous comments. I currently visit Wakehurst 3 or 4 times a year and usually eat and drink in both the Stables Cafe and the visitor centre. In future I'll be going to Nymans, Standen, Polesden Lacey, RHS Wisley, etc. instead. National Trust won't care much because they will still get my annual membership and my cafe purchases, but Wakehurst will lose the revenue from my purchases each visit. It does seem that NT should be paying more to Kew for the running costs of Wakehurst though. It will be interesting to see what happens to passenger numbers on the route 82 Metrobus.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
25 February 2014
With regards to David's comment posted earlier today I agree, many people have completely missed the point regarding NT membership to Wakehurst. I can understand the need to raise some income from NT members (or perhaps directly from the NT itself as we have already all paid them?) I do feel, though, that the proposed car parking charges are much too high and will put a lot of NT members off visiting Wakehurst when they can easily go to other NT gardens nearby at no extra cost. Unfortunately this will result in less income from car parking than hoped for and loss of income from the cafe and shop. I would happily pay a reasonable charge for car parking, but NOT £10 for anything over 2 hours. My usual visit, often twice a week,is about 2-3 hours.
25 February 2014
We have been members for many years and enjoy several visits to Wakehurst as it is one of our favourite places. We travel about 1.5 miles to get to Wakehurst and generally spend 3-4 hours on a visit. The charge of £10.00 is too much. You will lose money in the restaurant and the shop. If you wish to charge for the car park, then a reasonable fee of £1.00-£1.50 for members might be acceptable. We probably will not visit again after April.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
25 February 2014
If the problem is that visitors are not paying enough to support Kew's contribution to Wakehurst Place, then the solution is to ask visitors to pay more per visit. Obviously there is a danger that increased charges will reduce revenue rather than increasing it. I would certainly visit less often if I have to a more. This proposed car parking charge is idiotic. It will freeze out many of the 80% of visitors who are NT members. So the car park will be empty, the revenues will fall and National Trust members will lose one of the benefits they have already paid for. One hour barely allows a visit to such a large site. 2 hours is too short for a good walk in the gardens, and more than 2 hours will be too expensive. A season ticket would add substantially to my membership. I won't be visiting if you introduce this charge. I can park elsewhere and use public footpaths, including the public footpath through Wakehurst.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
25 February 2014
When we bought our first annual subscription in September 2013 to the National Trust, one of the main reasons for doing so was access to nearby Wakehurst Place. Surely they should not make any charges without giving at least a years notice. Then a flat £2 parking charge should be sufficient. We have eaten in the café and bought plants and gifts in the shop. When the charge is introduced, we, along with many others, will no longer be visiting Wakehurst. We may also not be renewing our NT subscription. When we bought our first annual subscription in September 2013 to the National Trust, one of the main reasons for doing so was access to nearby Wakehurst Place. Surely they should not make any charges without giving at least a years notice. Then a flat £2 parking charge should be sufficient. We have eaten in the café and bought plants and gifts in the shop. When the charge is introduced, we, along with many others, will no longer be visiting Wakehurst. We may also not be renewing our NT subscription. When we bought our first annual subscription in September 2013 to the National Trust, one of the main reasons for doing so was access to nearby Wakehurst Place. Surely they should not make any charges without giving at least a years notice. Then a flat £2 parking charge should be sufficient. We have eaten in the café and bought plants and gifts in the shop. When the charge is introduced, we, along with many others, will no longer be visiting Wakehurst. We may also not be renewing our NT subscription. When we bought our first annual subscription in September 2013 to the National Trust, one of the main reasons for doing so was access to nearby Wakehurst Place. Surely they should not make any charges without giving at least a years notice. Then a flat £2 parking charge should be sufficient. We have eaten in the café and bought plants and gifts in the shop. When the charge is introduced, we, along with many others, will no longer be visiting Wakehurst. We may also not be renewing our NT subscription. When we bought our first annual subscription in September 2013 to the National Trust, one of the main reasons for doing so was access to nearby Wakehurst Place. Surely they should not make any charges without giving at least a years notice. Then a flat £2 parking charge should be sufficient. We have eaten in the café and bought plants and gifts in the shop. When the charge is introduced, we, along with many others, will no longer be visiting Wakehurst. We may also not be renewing our NT subscription.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
25 February 2014
When you see the level of misunderstanding some have of this situation the mind boggles! I don't think that many NT members are grasping the fact that Kew gets just £80,000 per year from the NT to do everything on the Wakehurst site, which would barely pay for three gardeners. It's clear that some wrongly think that Kew's only input to Wakehurst is the Seed Bank and most others wrongly think that Kew are somehow getting their NT membership money. They clearly don't understand that Wakehurst is Kew's garden, not the NT's, at least until the lease runs out in 50 years, and it has been subsidised massively by Kew for many years in the absence of any significant NT funding. Kew can no longer afford this subsidy, so if the NT or their members are not prepared to pay something towards it, Wakehurst will inevitably no longer be the wonderful garden that NT members have been enjoying for years.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
24 February 2014
It lookalike the partnership between Kew and the NT is falling apart these are some tweets made by Wakehurst today on twitter @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Season Ticket from £25. Year round entry to gardens. Free car parking. 1 free ticket to Kew! #wakehurst place is not NT @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. It lookalike the partnership between Kew and the NT is falling apart these are some tweets made by Wakehurst today on twitter @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Season Ticket from £25. Year round entry to gardens. Free car parking. 1 free ticket to Kew! #wakehurst place is not NT @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. It lookalike the partnership between Kew and the NT is falling apart these are some tweets made by Wakehurst today on twitter @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Season Ticket from £25. Year round entry to gardens. Free car parking. 1 free ticket to Kew! #wakehurst place is not NT @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. It lookalike the partnership between Kew and the NT is falling apart these are some tweets made by Wakehurst today on twitter @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Season Ticket from £25. Year round entry to gardens. Free car parking. 1 free ticket to Kew! #wakehurst place is not NT @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. It lookalike the partnership between Kew and the NT is falling apart these are some tweets made by Wakehurst today on twitter @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Season Ticket from £25. Year round entry to gardens. Free car parking. 1 free ticket to Kew! #wakehurst place is not NT @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. It lookalike the partnership between Kew and the NT is falling apart these are some tweets made by Wakehurst today on twitter @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry. @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Season Ticket from £25. Year round entry to gardens. Free car parking. 1 free ticket to Kew! #wakehurst place is not NT @kewatwakehurst: @kewatwakehurst Wakehurst is run by Kew Gardens and recieves no funding from the National Trust from members free entry.
24 February 2014
I am saddened by this news. I will probably not visit again unless the car park charges are more reasonable. I would be prepared to pay £2. Shirley Yule, Felbridge.
24 February 2014
My wife and I are Life members of the National Trust and have over the years given each of our children Life Family Membership. Wakehurst is a great favourite because of the learning experience in the Seed Bank, the house activities and of course the garden. We are also supporters of the Eden Project in the West Country another great learning experience. Do they charge for car parking? No. We spend money at both of these venues in the restaurants, and the shops and often take a plant or two home. We frequently take visitors with us and have taken groups in four or five cars. Our spend is quite substantial over the year. No visit is for less than two hours which makes the £10 parking fee totally unreasonable on top of the journey cost and our other expenditure. We shall think twice before visiting after 1st April when there are so many other attractions nearby that do not charge extortionate car parking fees.
24 February 2014
As a National Trust member, I take great exception to the imposition of parking charges for NT members only. I pay my annual subscription in the explicit understanding that it gives me free entry to NT properties. To say that it is still free is a nonsense. I have no other means of getting there, and there is therefore now an entry charge. This needs to be examined in the context of the contract between members and the NT. This charge is unacceptable, and I will no longer visit the gardens - nor buy coffees and lunches, nor plants and gifts from the shop. I understand that Kew cannot cover its costs. However, it is up to the NT to make a contribution to Kew which accurately reflects the number of NT visitors to Wakehurst.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
24 February 2014
Dave Hopkins - if all the 'freeloaders' and 'cheapskates' your reference to National Trust members (we do pay for our membership) cease to visit then you may find the 20% of remaining visitors will not provide sufficient revenue for the gardens to remain open.I am one of those 'cheapskates' you refer to who during half term spent just over £50 on children's activities, lunch and the gift shop. I think £10 for parking is far too expensive and I will no longer be visiting once this charge is introduced. My children love the gardens and will be saddened that we will not be visiting in the future. Dave Hopkins - if all the 'freeloaders' and 'cheapskates' your reference to National Trust members (we do pay for our membership) cease to visit then you may find the 20% of remaining visitors will not provide sufficient revenue for the gardens to remain open.I am one of those 'cheapskates' you refer to who during half term spent just over £50 on children's activities, lunch and the gift shop. I think £10 for parking is far too expensive and I will no longer be visiting once this charge is introduced. My children love the gardens and will be saddened that we will not be visiting in the future. Dave Hopkins - if all the 'freeloaders' and 'cheapskates' your reference to National Trust members (we do pay for our membership) cease to visit then you may find the 20% of remaining visitors will not provide sufficient revenue for the gardens to remain open.I am one of those 'cheapskates' you refer to who during half term spent just over £50 on children's activities, lunch and the gift shop. I think £10 for parking is far too expensive and I will no longer be visiting once this charge is introduced. My children love the gardens and will be saddened that we will not be visiting in the future. Dave Hopkins - if all the 'freeloaders' and 'cheapskates' your reference to National Trust members (we do pay for our membership) cease to visit then you may find the 20% of remaining visitors will not provide sufficient revenue for the gardens to remain open.I am one of those 'cheapskates' you refer to who during half term spent just over £50 on children's activities, lunch and the gift shop. I think £10 for parking is far too expensive and I will no longer be visiting once this charge is introduced. My children love the gardens and will be saddened that we will not be visiting in the future. Dave Hopkins - if all the 'freeloaders' and 'cheapskates' your reference to National Trust members (we do pay for our membership) cease to visit then you may find the 20% of remaining visitors will not provide sufficient revenue for the gardens to remain open.I am one of those 'cheapskates' you refer to who during half term spent just over £50 on children's activities, lunch and the gift shop. I think £10 for parking is far too expensive and I will no longer be visiting once this charge is introduced. My children love the gardens and will be saddened that we will not be visiting in the future. Dave Hopkins - if all the 'freeloaders' and 'cheapskates' your reference to National Trust members (we do pay for our membership) cease to visit then you may find the 20% of remaining visitors will not provide sufficient revenue for the gardens to remain open.I am one of those 'cheapskates' you refer to who during half term spent just over £50 on children's activities, lunch and the gift shop. I think £10 for parking is far too expensive and I will no longer be visiting once this charge is introduced. My children love the gardens and will be saddened that we will not be visiting in the future.
24 February 2014
Sir I can fully understand that you cannot continue to run at loss and listened with interest to the discussion on radio sussex with Danny Pike and was pleased that you kept your cool very well!! My point is, that if the charges are not set in stone yet, a charge of one pound per hour would likely raise more, than jumping from £2 to £5 then £10. Sir I can fully understand that you cannot continue to run at loss and listened with interest to the discussion on radio sussex with Danny Pike and was pleased that you kept your cool very well!! My point is, that if the charges are not set in stone yet, a charge of one pound per hour would likely raise more, than jumping from £2 to £5 then £10. Sir I can fully understand that you cannot continue to run at loss and listened with interest to the discussion on radio sussex with Danny Pike and was pleased that you kept your cool very well!! My point is, that if the charges are not set in stone yet, a charge of one pound per hour would likely raise more, than jumping from £2 to £5 then £10. Sir I can fully understand that you cannot continue to run at loss and listened with interest to the discussion on radio sussex with Danny Pike and was pleased that you kept your cool very well!! My point is, that if the charges are not set in stone yet, a charge of one pound per hour would likely raise more, than jumping from £2 to £5 then £10. Sir I can fully understand that you cannot continue to run at loss and listened with interest to the discussion on radio sussex with Danny Pike and was pleased that you kept your cool very well!! My point is, that if the charges are not set in stone yet, a charge of one pound per hour would likely raise more, than jumping from £2 to £5 then £10. Sir I can fully understand that you cannot continue to run at loss and listened with interest to the discussion on radio sussex with Danny Pike and was pleased that you kept your cool very well!! My point is, that if the charges are not set in stone yet, a charge of one pound per hour would likely raise more, than jumping from £2 to £5 then £10.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
24 February 2014
Despite the claims that Wakehurst is run efficiently, this is clearly not the case. In the real world if a business cannot run itself within its budget it has to improve its efficiency not just ask its customers for more money because it can't manage its own affairs. I'm not happy that the National Trust committee has agreed to this, it should have been an online vote for ALL members of the National Trust.
24 February 2014
Congratulations National Trust. Having read the letter trying to justify the decision to introduce parking charges at Wakehurst Place it is clear that they are not planning to consult on parking charges but telling all members of the NT that you will accept the decision whether you like it or not. The best things that members can do is to cancel or not renew their membership. This will help to remind NT of who it is they rely on. As members what would you prefer to do? Review the £160,000 a year salary of the chief executive of The National Trust or to pay for parking charges at Wakehurst? Congratulations National Trust. Having read the letter trying to justify the decision to introduce parking charges at Wakehurst Place it is clear that they are not planning to consult on parking charges but telling all members of the NT that you will accept the decision whether you like it or not. The best things that members can do is to cancel or not renew their membership. This will help to remind NT of who it is they rely on. As members what would you prefer to do? Review the £160,000 a year salary of the chief executive of The National Trust or to pay for parking charges at Wakehurst? Congratulations National Trust. Having read the letter trying to justify the decision to introduce parking charges at Wakehurst Place it is clear that they are not planning to consult on parking charges but telling all members of the NT that you will accept the decision whether you like it or not. The best things that members can do is to cancel or not renew their membership. This will help to remind NT of who it is they rely on. As members what would you prefer to do? Review the £160,000 a year salary of the chief executive of The National Trust or to pay for parking charges at Wakehurst? Congratulations National Trust. Having read the letter trying to justify the decision to introduce parking charges at Wakehurst Place it is clear that they are not planning to consult on parking charges but telling all members of the NT that you will accept the decision whether you like it or not. The best things that members can do is to cancel or not renew their membership. This will help to remind NT of who it is they rely on. As members what would you prefer to do? Review the £160,000 a year salary of the chief executive of The National Trust or to pay for parking charges at Wakehurst? Congratulations National Trust. Having read the letter trying to justify the decision to introduce parking charges at Wakehurst Place it is clear that they are not planning to consult on parking charges but telling all members of the NT that you will accept the decision whether you like it or not. The best things that members can do is to cancel or not renew their membership. This will help to remind NT of who it is they rely on. As members what would you prefer to do? Review the £160,000 a year salary of the chief executive of The National Trust or to pay for parking charges at Wakehurst? Congratulations National Trust. Having read the letter trying to justify the decision to introduce parking charges at Wakehurst Place it is clear that they are not planning to consult on parking charges but telling all members of the NT that you will accept the decision whether you like it or not. The best things that members can do is to cancel or not renew their membership. This will help to remind NT of who it is they rely on. As members what would you prefer to do? Review the £160,000 a year salary of the chief executive of The National Trust or to pay for parking charges at Wakehurst?
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
24 February 2014
I am shocked to read that Wakehurst will be introducing a charge for car parking. If this is to be the case, I certainly will not be a frequent visitor to Wakehurst in the future and will op to go to other NT sites. I enjoy bringing my family to wakehurst who do not live in England and this will a great sadness to us all. Sonya, South Croydon
24 February 2014
As a long-standing NT member, I am disgusted at this decision. The NT should be ashamed at itself for consenting to this imposition without consulting its members and their senior management should resign as a result. I personally will boycott Wakehurst if these charges come into force and I shall encourage others to do so similarly.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
24 February 2014
I think that the new car parking charges for NT members will result in a loss rather than an increase in revenue for Kew. A charge of £2 per day would ensure that members will still visit & spend money in the shop & café. £10 will mean that members will just choose to visit other nearby NT properties instead. Bearing in mind that 80% of the visitors to Wakehurst are NT members most of whom are retired or families with young children with limited funds, I feel that this is a very short-sighted decision. Jean Haynes, Horsham
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
My husband and I have two small children, we 'pay' for a NT family membership every year, not to mention 'pay' in the restaurant, 'pay' in the shop etc. I'd like to know what is 'freeloading' about that! Kew are not interested in National Trust members as they simply do not bring enough revenue and they can get more revenue from other people such as the pompous gentleman who suggested NT members are all 'freeloaders.' Shame Kew care more about these type of people and their revenue, than sharing their Heritage with future generations 'paying' young families. We will not be visiting Wakehurst once the parking charges are brought in and if the National Trust don't start defending their members and doing more for young families, they can keep their membership too.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
I am saddened by this decision, I have been visiting Wakehurst for over 25 years since I was a little girl and have many fond memories of playing and exploring in the gardens. I now bring my own children to explore and have fun learning new things about nature. National trust membership has always seemed to me to include entrance and parking at the venues. I think that the introduction of parking fees only for these members will have the reverse effect on the revenue generated as there are plenty of other gardens and houses to visit locally with parking included in the membership. The majority of visitors purchase food from the cafe and items in the shop so this revenue will also be lost. A sad decision and I will miss visiting but will just have to find alternative venues to visit.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
Another disappointed family! We have been National Trust members since our children were babies. Being a local resident, Wakehurst has been one of our favourite places to visit - family time together, fresh air and exercise in a beautiful location. We want our children to enjoy life outside and nature and not stuck inside attached to a screen! Family time spent at Wakehust has given us all with wonderful memories to treasure. However, charging £10 to stay for more than 2 hours is appalling. From April, we will now go to Standen, Nymans or Sheffield Park - park for free, eat in their restaurant and spend our money in their gift shop! This decision needs re-thinking (a nominal charge of £2 would be acceptable).
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
Why do the proposed charges go up so dramatically after two hours? It would be fairer to have a graduated charge throughout the day or a four hour charge as well one and two hour rates. Four hours would give people more time to spend money in the shop and to enjoy a relaxing lunch in the restaurant or cafe. Doubling the cost of parking to £10 after two hours is totally unacceptable.
23 February 2014
Dear Sir / Madam, My family and I are totally appalled at your proposal to introduce car parking charges at Wakehurst Gardens, we have been National Trust Member for 30 years and this garden has been the main reason for our keeping our membership, even when I was made redundant and had little or no money, we still kept the membership going. We have always looked forward to dropping into the gardens for a quick short walk, maybe a quick look around the shop / tearooms, however we and no doubt many thousands of other members will now think twice about this as we will be punished by these car parking charges and we and many others will not go and spend our time in the gardens or spend our money in the in the shop / tearooms, this leading to a major drop in income for the National Trust. We will also miss out in being able to enjoy the gardens we, our friends and family have previously enjoyed. In addition, although I am only 60 years old, my wife and I had been looking forward to dropping in once a week for a walk and a lunch when I retire. We had already been talking about getting benches in the gardens for our friends and relatives to come and rest and reflect about us when we have died. Our friends and family are already National Trust members, but now I and I am sure many other members will not proceed with the benches as we would not want to impose further costs on our friends and family to visit our benches for their private reflections. This again will lead to another loss of income to the National Trust as we will not purchase two benches and our friends / families will not go and spend money in the shop / tearooms. I see your public meetings are scheduled for two Mondays when, the majority of the Nation Trust members will be at work, not all members are lucky enough to be retired and to have enough disposable income not to have to worry about paying for car parking charges, I assume you are charging attendees for the tea /coffee? Why not set a marquee up and keep it open everyday at the entrance to Wakehurst with you and your staff present to listen to your members views, who you are supposed to be representing and to hear their suggestions for additional income streams and to take on board where possible, those suggestions. It seems to me that whoever put this proposal to you clearly has not looked at potential wider funding streams for raising the further income required. In addition, they cannot have thought about the negative impact this will have on the National Trust as a whole, to individual NT members and indeed to local residents, who I expect will now face increased pressure from NT members parking in the surrounding village roads and walking into the gardens to avoid paying the car parking fees. Yours faithfully, Wally Jones © 2014 MicrosoftTermsPriv
23 February 2014
Like many others, I was shocked to hear of the proposed car parking charge upon visiting yesterday. Our NT subscription has increased by 16% over the last 3 years, above inflation, surely the NT could "subsidise" Kew from our subs? If the NT/Kew insist on implementing these charges, we will think twice about returning to Wakehurst, which is a crying shame as it, and Wisley, are our 2 favourite gardens. We always eat whilst at Wakehurst, and my wife invariably makes a purchase at the shop. These revenue streams risk being much reduced. What assumptions have been made about falls in visits and attendant spending post theses charges being introduced? A retrograde step, I'm afraid. Also, why are the consultation meetings both being help on a Monday? Some members still work!
23 February 2014
I understand the need to raise funding however I object to the high rates of parking that you plan to introduce. As a NT member nothing gave me greater pleasure than walking around the gardens and being able to drop in at any time, usually once a month, many times more. My visits usually lasted two - three hours and always involved either lunch or afternoon tea. Sometimes a purchase from the shop. Introducing rates of £5 and £10 will stop me visiting Wakehurst. You'll lose the income from my visits and I'll lose out on those wonderful gardens, however there are many other NT places in the region that would welcome my custom without penalizing me for my visit by charging me excessively for parking. I'm sorry its come to this.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
I was quite shocked when I learned about these parking charges. Its just unbelievable! My husband and I are both pensioners and we love visiting Wakehurst, we visit approx once a week (during off peak times) enjoying a long walk and then lunch or coffee afterwards on the premises. Parking charges of £10 a week add up to at least £40 a month which we cannot afford. The national trust membership is barely affordable for us as it is. As Wakehurst was our main place for National Trust visits we will now cancel our National Trust membership when it is due. I'm sure many people will be doing the same. Our walking escapades will now take place at Ashdown Forest, which is not far away from Wakehurst. So goodbye Wakehurst, and here we come Ashdown Forest!!
23 February 2014
Such a shame. Having just recently retired we decided to visit Wakehurst today and were so disappointed to discover the parking proposal that appears to penalise NT members. Of course we would want to see Kew continue their amazing work, but the proposed charge of £10.00 is excessive and like so many others who have commented, we will not be visiting again. We would support a proposal that seemed proportionate and more fair, this is not. Oh, well, at least we had an enjoyable first [and last] visit.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
I suspect these car parking charges have either been drawn up by an expensive consultant or someone with no concept of who visits Wakehurst or how long they stay. I appreciate that in the event of experiencing financial problems difficult choices and decisions often need to be made. I am positive that in order to ensure a viable future for Wakehurst most visitors would accept sensible car parking charges but those proposed are ridiculous. An average visitor will probably spend around 3 hours at Wakehurst but will not wish to spend £10 to do so. Visitor numbers will inevitably drop thereby creating further financial difficulties!
23 February 2014
We pay annual membership to National Trust, to allow us free access. If you visit and eat and shop you are looking at a 4 hour visit mostly. The £10 parking fee for such a visit will put me off visiting at all probably. I can go to other nearby venues such as Nymans or Standen, where I can park and visit for free, once i have paid membership. You may lose visitors by this move, and their revenue from eating and shopping.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
like others I will not be visiting in future. As others have said a price of £2.00 would be more acceptable. What can you do in an hour, this will counterproductive, visitors numbers will go down so costs will go up and how staff will go then to compensate? And why are the meetings being held on Mondays when most visitors are working is this to say there is little or no opposition? Come on think again before it is too late. A Disgruntled and soon to be a past visitor!
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
Wakehurst Place is a large site so I imagine most visitors spend at least 2-3 hours there, particularly if they visit the cafe or shop. A £10 parking charge can only lead to fewer visitors spending less, with cafe visits curtailed to pay for parking. This could well end up being a massive own goal; whoever thought this up needs to look at the impact of ever increasing town centre car park charges on high streets. A nominal charge of £2-3 for parking would probably have been accepted with little complaint. £10 for more than 2 hours is exorbitant and makes Brighton parking look cheap! Appreciate Wakehurst needs to be commercially viable but stinging the visitor through parking charges is very shortsighted.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
My elderly parents love visiting Wakehurst place, but will no longer be able to afford this, as they can't walk very fast, so would end up having to pay £10 each time. All my friends say they will no longer visit. We all spend money in the cafe and shop. You would loose less people if a one off charge of £2 to park was made. In fact you will probably make more money this way, as most people would continue to visit.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
As a member of the National Trust and a frequent visitor being registered disabled. I will not be visiting this site in the future if planned parking charges come into effect. Being disabled an hour doesn't give long to do anything. I struggle to pay our annual membership as I cant work, parking charges will sadly prevent me going to Wakehurst. L.Lyon. As a member of the National Trust and a frequent visitor being registered disabled. I will not be visiting this site in the future if planned parking charges come into effect. Being disabled an hour doesn't give long to do anything. I struggle to pay our annual membership as I cant work, parking charges will sadly prevent me going to Wakehurst. L.Lyon. As a member of the National Trust and a frequent visitor being registered disabled. I will not be visiting this site in the future if planned parking charges come into effect. Being disabled an hour doesn't give long to do anything. I struggle to pay our annual membership as I cant work, parking charges will sadly prevent me going to Wakehurst. L.Lyon. As a member of the National Trust and a frequent visitor being registered disabled. I will not be visiting this site in the future if planned parking charges come into effect. Being disabled an hour doesn't give long to do anything. I struggle to pay our annual membership as I cant work, parking charges will sadly prevent me going to Wakehurst. L.Lyon. As a member of the National Trust and a frequent visitor being registered disabled. I will not be visiting this site in the future if planned parking charges come into effect. Being disabled an hour doesn't give long to do anything. I struggle to pay our annual membership as I cant work, parking charges will sadly prevent me going to Wakehurst. L.Lyon. As a member of the National Trust and a frequent visitor being registered disabled. I will not be visiting this site in the future if planned parking charges come into effect. Being disabled an hour doesn't give long to do anything. I struggle to pay our annual membership as I cant work, parking charges will sadly prevent me going to Wakehurst. L.Lyon. As a member of the National Trust and a frequent visitor being registered disabled. I will not be visiting this site in the future if planned parking charges come into effect. Being disabled an hour doesn't give long to do anything. I struggle to pay our annual membership as I cant work, parking charges will sadly prevent me going to Wakehurst. L.Lyon.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
23 February 2014
We took out life membership of the National Trust when my husband retired so that we could afford regular trips out. Without the cost of entry fees we can then buy a meal in the restaurant and spend money in the delightful shop. Other family members also visit regularly on using their membership. From April we will have to forgo this pleasure. Visiting for 2 hours or less is unrealistic, £10 a visit is unaffordable. Restaurant and shop sales are sure to decrease as a result. Please think again.
23 February 2014
Wakehurst is a large spread out site and judging by our visits there, almost all visitors would be hit by the proposed £10 charge for over 2hrs. I suspect they expect an outcry and hope all will accept it gladly when it is reduced to a lower figure 'in response to members comments'. I think that if any charge is accepted, it will only be a matter of time before parking charges are the norm at all NT properties. I suggest members vote with your feet at Wakehurst, or prepare to face a large increase in the real annual cost of your NT membership.
22 February 2014
These charges will deter many NT members. I am a childminder and Wakehurst is popular with childminders and families alike. I have often brought my minded children to Wakehurst and have also paid for activities at £2-£3 per child, plus the cost of coffee and cake and icecreams for the children in hot weather. The children often bring spending money with them to purchase items in the shop. I make numerous visits in the year but all are over 2 hours, such a shame that these charges will now mean I can no longer afford to visit. Wakehurst has been a fantastic educational environment and the children I have brought over the past few years have benefited immensely and have learnt about many aspects of the environment. Such a shame that this wonderful place will no longer be a viable option for days out.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.
22 February 2014
Like so many others I definitely won't be paying the car parking charges at Wakehurst. The £10 charge is exorbitant given that it is located in a rural area, and there are plenty of locations nearby where you can park a car completely free and without restrictions, if you are prepared to walk a few hundred yards. Even in the urban areas of Mid Sussex District Council, (which Wakehurst Place is located within), the local council's absolute maximum charge is no more than £6 for all day parking and free on Sundays and bank holidays. The £10 charge will be the highest in the whole of Mid Sussex by quite a margin. Like many others I wouldn't have minded paying a nominal amount for parking, but certainly not £10. I think that this high charge will be very counter-productive and scare many people away. Have you stopped for a moment to think about the effect that it is likely to have on Wakehurst Place itself? You will have even less revenue than before the car parking charges are introduced because very few people will want to pay these exorbitant car parking charges.
Abuse Reported. Comment will be reviewed and removed if necessary.

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