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National Memorial Arboretum Reopens

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Visitors can finally return to UK Centre of Remembrance
The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is to re-open on June 8 to pre-booked visitors following three months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. The UK's year-round Centre for Remembrance, which is part of The Royal British Legion, contains more than 380 memorials alongside almost 30,000 maturing trees on its 150 acre site at Alrewas, near Lichfield. To ensure the safety of everyone on site, the Arboretum is implementing a series of measures, in accordance with Government and industry guidance. People will need to book their vehicle online before arriving at the Arboretum (4 for four wheeled vehicles, free for standard motorbikes) and a limited number of spaces will be available each day. Anyone without a valid booking will not be admitted to the site and the Arboretum is encouraging people to only book dates they can definitely attend on to ensure as many people are possible can enjoy the site after almost three months of closure.

National Memorial Arboretum, Armed Forces Memorial
The Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum which reopens on June 8

Visitors will only be permitted to enter the grounds and use the toilets in the Remembrance Centre. The Armed Forces Memorial, which commemorates those who have been killed on duty or as a result of terrorism from the end of the Second World War to the present time, will be open to visitors. However, capacity will be limited at any one time and a one-way system will be in place. The shop, restaurant, coffee shop, exhibition galleries, chapel, playgrounds and Far East Prisoners of War building will remain closed until the Arboretum believes it is safe to re-open them and it is permitted to do so. The Daily Act of Remembrance will be relayed into the amphitheatre, but all other talks, tours and activities, including the land train, will not be operating. Scooters and wheelchairs will not be available for hire until further notice, with visitors encouraged to bring their own if required.

National Memorial Arboretum
One of the memorials to the RAF at the Arboretum

An enhanced cleaning regime will be in operation in high footfall areas, including the toilets. Measures to keep the Arboretum team and visitors safe, including hygiene screens, will also be in place. Visitors are encouraged to wash their hands frequently during their outing and contactless payment options will be available. Throughout their time at the Arboretum, visitors will need to maintain the social distancing guidelines mandated by the Government. Onsite signage, one-way pathways and queuing systems for facilities will also need be followed. Anyone required to remain in isolation due to current Government guidelines should not visit the Arboretum at this time.

National Memorial Arboretum, Camp Bastion Memorial
The Camp Bastion Memorial pays tribute to armed forces personnel who died in Afghanistan

Philippa Rawlinson, Managing Director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: "Although undoubtedly for a much greater good, we were incredibly sad to close to our visitors in March. Over the past months the importance and benefits of enjoying green space have been brought to the fore, and I know that many people are as eager to visit our site, as we are to welcome them. The introduction of a system requiring visitors to pre-book a visit is as unprecedented as our recent closure; however, it is an essential tool that will allow us to safely manage the number of people on-site and we will not be admitting people without a valid booking. I hope people will respect and comply with the new procedures we have put in place to protect our visitors and staff while enjoying their visit."

National Memorial Arboretum
Free Spirit recognises the role of horses in combat

The National Memorial Arboretum is situated on land owned by Tarmac and leased on a peppercorn rent. For further information, visit
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Why? UK's year-round centre of Remembrance reopens after Covid19
When: From June 8
Phone: 01283 245100
Where: National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR
Cost: 4 parking for 4-wheel vehicles
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