UK markets close in 7 hours 10 minutes

National Trust reverses decision to make garden and parkland entry free during coronavirus outbreak

Getting outside during the coronavirus could help mental health. (Getty Images)

Article updated 23 March 2020.

The National Trust has reversed its decision to keep as many of its parks and gardens open and free of charge.

Despite announcing last week that it planned to make entry to National Trust parks and gardens free, the organisation yesterday revealed in a tweet its now closed the majority of outdoor spaces to “restrict the spread of coronavirus.”

The National Trust’s pay-for-entry indoor sites, including houses, cafés and shops, closed by 20 March (Friday) following latest government guidance issued by the Prime Minister last week.

“Following the Prime Minister's advice on Monday 16th March, the National Trust's Director-General Hilary McGrady said that our pay-for-entry sites including houses, cafés and shops, will close by this Friday 20th March,” a statement on their website explained.

“While we will close our indoor areas to help fight the spread of coronavirus, we recognise that people are likely to need access to open space.

“We'll work, where possible, to keep as many of our gardens and parklands open, free of charge, alongside coast and countryside, to encourage the nation to enjoy open space, while observing social distancing measures.”

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of Covid-19 cases in your local area

Explained: Symptoms, latest advice and how it compares to the flu

It is understandable that the coronavirus outbreak is causing mental health to take a bit of a hit, leaving many of us feeling anxious or low, but getting out into the great outdoors could provide a welcome lift.

Earlier this year a report revealed that taking part in nature-based activities can help those suffering from mental ill-health and contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, which sounds like just the ticket right now.

Read more: How to keep your mental health in check during the coronavirus outbreak

The National Trust has announced they will be keeping many of their gardens and parks open, free of charge, during coronavirus outbreak. (Getty Images)

The report, commissioned by Natural England from the University of Essex and Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, highlighted evidence that getting out into nature can bring a range of positive benefits including a reduction in depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms.

Read more: The foods you can and can't freeze

So in these uncertain coronavirus-edged times when many of us are feeling anxious and overwhelmed, if you were planning on heading to your local National Trust for some soothing fresh air, you will still be able to do so.