Welcome back to Brownsea - we've missed you!
Brownsea Island has been open just over a month now, with new safety and social distancing measures in place. So, what changes have been made on the Island and what does the future hold for this iconic, wild place? Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Poole Harbour Reserves Officer Luke Johns tells us more...
The National Trust made the decision to reopen Brownsea Island to visitors as of July 23rd. Working with the Brownsea Island Ferries, they put measures in place to make it safe to bring 80 people across to the island on each hourly ferry. After a few weeks, ferries were increased to every 30 minutes. Visitors are asked to now book tickets and a time slot for their visit, which means that there will only ever be 560 visitors on the Island at one time.
Measures were put in place to keep all visitors safe, like wearing of face coverings on the boats, the closure of enclosed spaces like our new Avocet and Tern Hides, and extra hand sanitiser available around the Island. The public toilets in the Villa are open for use, but our shop and visitors centre are closed for the time being. We have a one-way system now in place around the Villa and we have a limit on the number of people who can wait inside the Villa for the toilets at any one time. We have new signage to show people the one-way system and remind them to keep a good distance. In fact, the whole Island has a really stringent cleaning regime. The other great news is that we have been given an extension on our Wild Brownsea Project. The Covid-19 crisis meant that the project had to be put on hold for four months, with our project officers Nicki and Jonny on furlough. With their return and the extension, we are now back and ready roll out the exciting plans for the Island. Work has recommenced on our new Boardwalk and we are deciding what work we can start now, and which tasks will have to wait until the winter.
Keep your eyes peeled on our social media, we will make sure we are bringing you lots of updates as the project commences.
You can book your visit to Brownsea Island online here.
You can help us create a haven for wildlife and people on Brownsea Island but donating to our Wild Brownsea appeal.