Car parking charges 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.
'The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew currently maintains the gardens, woodlands and the Mansion at Wakehurst, in accordance with a lease from the National Trust. Despite being run efficiently and effectively, the net cost to Kew of running Wakehurst 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 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, 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, 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.
Why we are doing this
Kew absorbs the majority of the costs of running Wakehurst and, despite doing so efficiently and effectively, we have a net deficit of £1.4m.
80% of visitors to Wakehurst 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. 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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.