Community Access Scheme at Wakehurst terms and conditions

These are the terms and conditions applicable to the Community Access Scheme (CAS) of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ('Terms') at Wakehurst.

In these Terms, 'scheme or CAS' refers to The Community Access Scheme, 'you/r' or 'member' refers to the group that is a member of CAS of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew at Wakehurst (or applicant for such status), 'visitor' refers to a member's service users and accompanying staff/volunteers and 'we' and 'us' refers to The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew or the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  ‘Lead Adult and Supervising Adult(s)’ shall have the meaning given in section 3 of these Terms.  

Benefits of being a member of CAS

As a member you are entitled, upon presentation of a proof of membership to:

  • A maximum of 60 to Wakehurst each membership period (3 years) during normal opening hours and subject to the usual conditions of entry. 
  • Visit more than once until your visitor admissions total reaches the maximum number of admissions each membership period.
  • In addition to the 60 visitor admissions, children aged under 17 years and essential carers accompanying people with additional needs are also admitted free of charge and this does not count towards your 60 visitor admissions.
  • Group service users can visit without essential carers where deemed appropriate by the group.
  • Free parking onsite.  Members just need to get their car park ticket validated at the Visitor Centre upon arrival.

Being a member does not entitle you to free entry to any ticketed events, nor does it guarantee the availability of tickets to any such events.

Obligations (for all members)

All members must be aware of and comply with these Terms and Wakehurst’s dos and don'ts.

The Gardens will also be used by members of the public during your visit and due consideration should be given to such persons at all times

You must ensure appropriate behaviour by your visitors at all times and ensure they make reasonable and careful use of the Gardens. Your visitors must obey instruction signage and follow any specific instructions given by staff, particularly with regards to issues of safety, access and behaviour.

You shall remain responsible for any acts or omissions of your visitors whilst in the Gardens including, but not limited to, damage to property.

In the event that any visitor breaches any of these Terms, Kew shall be entitled at its sole discretion to refuse your member group access to Kew or to require your member group to vacate the Gardens or part thereof.

Additional obligations (for member groups which include children or young people under 18)

a. For member’s primarily designed to support young people or children under the age of 18, or member’s bringing under 18’s to the Gardens without their parent/guardian

i.You shall designate a qualified adult as the adult in charge of the group (“Lead Adult") and shall notify Kew of the name of that person at the time of joining the scheme, and at any time when a new person takes on this role. This must be the person who will accompany the group throughout their visit, and agrees to be the primary contact for any queries we may have in relation to you visit, including matters relating to the actions of your visitors.

ii.Should it be necessary to change the "Lead Adult" the group shall do so via communication with

iii.You shall ensure that a sufficient number of adults (the "Supervising Adults") accompany and supervise young people and children at all times whilst on Kew's premises. We recommend you maintain the following adult-to-child ratio: SEN - 1:1 ; Reception - 1:2; Reception - 1:4, Key Stage 1 - 1:5; Key Stage 2 - 1:8; Key Stage 3 - 1:10; Key Stage 4/5 - 1:12.

SEND Special Educational Needs and Disabilities - 1:1 or with additional adult support as required.

Early years (age 0-3) – 1:3 (normally no more than one child under one child under one year old for this ratio of adults to children.)

Reception (age 4-5) - 1:4;

Key Stage 1 (age 5-6) - 1:5;

Key Stage 2 (age 6-7) - 1:8;

Key Stage 3 (age 7-8) - 1:10;

Key Stage 4/5 (age 8-10) - 1:12.

iv.You shall ensure that all Supervising Adults are familiar with the programme for the day and aware of any key hazards/risks at Kew.

v.You are responsible for your group (including children, young people and Supervising Adults) at all times during the visit.

b. For member‘s who intend to bring children or young people under the age of 18 to the Gardens with their parents/guardians

iii.You shall ensure that children and young people are supervised by their parent/guardian throughout their visit.

iv.Young people and children remain the sole responsibility of their parents/guardian at all times during their visit.

Risk assessments

It is your responsibility to carry out a risk assessment for your own visit to the Gardens. You can use our school group risk assessment as an example to help you. 

Each community group is responsible to prepare their own assessment.                            

Members should be aware that:

a. the car park and adjacent roads can be busy

b. the site contains areas of deep water

c. CCTV is in use at all times, recorded and monitored.

d. First aid incidents should be reported to Wakehurst Rangers in the first instance, who can then coordinate emergency services as required (See ‘Health and Safety on your visit’ document for further information.

e. Heavy machinery and vehicles are in use throughout the gardens  

Proof of membership

You will need proof of membership when entering Wakehurst. We may also request proof of identity.

Members who cannot show proof of membership may be required to pay an entrance fee, which will not be refunded.

Membership and any associated CAS benefits are non-transferable and can only be used by the member group.

Membership period 

The membership period is 3 years from date of purchase.

The annual membership fee does not reduce pro rata for members joining part way through the membership period. If you are unable to use your membership at any stage during this time refunds or extensions cannot be offered in any circumstances.

Application and renewal process

You can apply for annual membership at any time.

New memberships and renewals may take up to 28 days to process. Membership documentation will be sent to you by email.

We will contact you when your visit allocation is running low and tell you what you need to do to continue your membership.

Further conditions

CAS membership cannot be used by a member’s staff/volunteers, unless accompanying its service users.

Your free admissions must not be used as a 'thank you' for staff/volunteers, nor for fundraising by way of charging your visitors for their entry.

We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to refuse entry and/or CAS membership and/or to revoke CAS membership without refund if the CAS member behaves in a threatening or abusive manner towards any person at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew or damages or threatens to damage any of the collections or property of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew or acts in a manner which in Kew’s sole opinion brings Kew into disrepute.

We reserve the right to revoke your CAS membership at any time, without financial compensation, if you commit any breach of these Terms.

We reserve the right to change these Terms at any time, subject to a minimum of 30 days prior notice by email.

We reserve the right to alter the scheme at any time, subject to a minimum of 30 days prior notice by email.

We reserve the right to close the scheme at the end of any membership period, subject to a minimum of 30 days prior notice by email.

The validity, construction and performance of these Terms shall be governed by English law and we and you hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.


Enquiries about the scheme can be sent by email to or by post to: Community Access Scheme Administration, Wakehurst, Selsfield road, Ardingly, RH17 6TN

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a non-departmental public body with exempt charitable status.