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Chatsworth to give NHS staff free entry to gardens

To thank the NHS for working through this unprecedented and challenging time, Chatsworth is offering free entry to the garden to all NHS staff so they can take some time to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

The offer is provisionally valid from 21 March to 30 April but the end date may change. In order to take advantage of the discount, simply produce an NHS Photo ID Card at the garden on arrival.

Chatsworth has announced that the wide-open spaces of its world-famous garden and parkland will welcome visitors from Saturday 21 March but that the house, farmyard, adventure playground, gift shops and most of its restaurants will remain closed until further notice.

The estate farm shop at the nearby village of Pilsley will remain open and is looking at new ways of serving local communities, and particularly elderly and vulnerable people, by extending its home delivery service and increasing the number of products available from its online shop.

Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the Derbyshire estate took the decision to restrict entry in response to the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. While the garden and parkland will open for visitors wanting to take a walk and get some fresh air, ‘social distancing’ and additional hygiene measures have been put in place/

Chatsworth’s 105-acre garden is famous for its rich history, historic and modern waterworks and sculptures, its Victorian rock garden and maze while the spectacular 1,000-acre park on the banks of the River Derwent was chiefly designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 1760s. Parking charges have been waived at Chatsworth and nearby Calton Lees - entry to the garden is paid for but the parkland is free to all visitors.

The Duke of Devonshire: “The health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff is paramount and, in the end, that made it an easy decision to restrict entry. At the same time, with so much of the country in shutdown, we wanted to keep the garden and parkland open to visitors because they are big spaces and can still be enjoyed safely.”

“It’s a great shame that the treasures in the house will be closed and that children won’t be able to go to the farmyard or adventure playground but, under the circumstances, I’m sure they’ll understand. Everybody is still welcome to come and enjoy Chatsworth and we will open in full again as soon as it's safe to do so.”

At present, the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials (15-17 May) and the Chatsworth Country Fair (4-6 September) are scheduled to go ahead but RHS Chatsworth (11-14 June) has been cancelled. All events, large or small, will remain under review and visitors are advised to check Chatsworth’s website and social media channels for updates before making any plans.

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