RHS Shows announcement 2021
24 June 2020: Like many other organisations, the RHS has suffered losses of millions of pounds due to the impact of Covid-19 and, as a result, we have taken the tough decision to cancel some of our shows next year.
We expect losses this year of up to £18m and the charity has had to look closely at its finances in order to safeguard its future. This will mean stopping some areas of work that require substantial RHS investment in order to operate.
It is therefore with great sadness that we have made the hard decision to cancel RHS Flower Show Cardiff and RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in 2021. The RHS has consulted all partners and stakeholders and is very sorry for the disappointment this will cause its loyal members, visitors and everyone involved with the shows.
In addition, the London RHS Spring Launch Show in April 2021 will move to RHS Garden Hyde Hall, where it will be enjoyed by more visitors and we hope to move the London RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show, also in April, to another venue in London.
While we are beginning to see a slow recovery, like every organisation the RHS is unsure what the future will look like and needs to reduce its financial liabilities for 2021. We hope to consider additional events to provide new gardening inspiration and experiences for our members, as well as reaching new audiences who have been inspired to garden for the first time during this long period of lockdown.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General says: “With record online visits to our Gardening Advice pages and more people using our membership advice service than ever before, the RHS is finding alternative ways to achieve its core charitable remit to help people across the whole of the UK to garden and grow plants. However, cancelling Chelsea and Hampton and closing our gardens has had a significant impact on our finances and we must protect the RHS, a charity of national importance, to ensure we can survive and thrive in the future.
“Chatsworth and Cardiff were wonderful shows that have been a key part of our charitable remit to promote gardening, but as they attract fewer visitor numbers than Tatton and Hampton and are a significant cost to put on, it is with great sadness we cannot afford to continue to run them in these times. We need to mitigate our financial liabilities wherever possible, while trying our hardest to work in the fairest way with all stakeholders, including our partners at Chatsworth House and Cardiff Council, and we will of course continue to support the industry.”
“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with our partners and everyone at both shows and thank everyone and all members and visitors over the years for making them as wonderful as they were.”
“This is the hardest but most responsible decision we can make, we owe it to our members, donors, sponsors and all our supporters to spend our funds wisely and do the best we can to serve the nation’s gardeners. These are difficult times for everyone.”
“With RHS Garden Bridgewater and the Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning at Wisley opening next year, lots of exciting plans at our other gardens and wonderful content planned for our continuing 2021 Shows there is so much to look forward to.”
All other RHS Shows, including RHS Chelsea Flower Show, RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park are planned to continue in 2021. The RHS is planning for all scenarios to open the events safely.
We are looking at other ways and opportunities to support the industry, growers, community groups and members who have been involved in the Cardiff and Chatsworth Shows.
Show cancellations 2020
15 June 2020: We are saddened to announce that due to the continued uncertainty about events amid the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we have cancelled the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, supported by Viking. The RHS had already postponed the Show from taking place in July to early September 2020 in the hope that the show might be possible. It is also with regret that the rescheduled RHS Flower Shows due to take place at RHS Garden Rosemoor and RHS Garden Hyde Hall in September are also now cancelled. The Malvern Autumn Show, due to take place on 26 - 27 September, has been cancelled.
RHS Gardens open from Monday 1 June
27 May 2020: Following the latest Government advice on Coronavirus, we are pleased to confirm that our four RHS Gardens – Wisley, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor – have reopened under a pre-booking system.
Our foremost priority remains the health and safety of our members, visitors and staff and we will do everything possible to ensure all Government social distancing measures are followed. All visitors are required to pre-book a timed entry slot in advance of their visit and visitor numbers entering the gardens will be limited.
The safety measures implemented at all four RHS Gardens include:
- Strictly limited numbers of pre-booked tickets available for each day
- Separate entry and exit points to the gardens where possible
- Floor markings to indicate appropriate distances while queueing at the garden entrances
- Screens at the welcome desks and checkouts to protect staff and visitors
- Hand sanitiser available to staff and visitors at strategic points
- Card transactions only – no cash payments
- Areas within the gardens where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, such as glasshouses, alpine houses, bird hides and play areas, remain closed
It is essential that all visitors, including members, guests of members and under 5s, have a pre-booked time slot in advance of their visit. Time slot availability will be limited, and anyone arriving at the gardens without a pre-booked time slot will be asked to book for the next available session.
RHS Gardens are open from 10am to 4pm daily. We look forward to welcoming our members and visitors safely back to our gardens and thank you for your support and patience.
RHS Shops and Plant Centres open
In response to the Government allowing the reopening of garden centres and shops, we have reopened the RHS Shops and Plant Centres at our four RHS Gardens. Our shops and plant centres are open seven days a week, from 10am–5pm Mondays–Saturdays and 11am–5pm on Sundays.
To ensure Government social distancing measures are followed, the number of visitors entering the shops and plant centres will be limited and additional safety measures are in place, including:
- Maximum of two people per household allowed entry together
- Restrictions on the number of customers allowed in at any one time
- Card transactions only – no cash payments
- Screens at every checkout
- PPE equipment issued to all staff (including gloves, masks and goggles)
- Hand sanitiser at entry and exit points and throughout the shops and plant centres
- Managed queuing for social distancing and separate exit and entry points
Our priority is to support the Government’s plans to control the spread of the virus and if official guidance changes, we will adjust practices immediately. We thank you for your patience and support.
Supporting our members
To help our members grow at home and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening, we have introduced new ways for us to engage with our members. We continue to produce The Garden monthly magazine sent to all members, but have added two digital member-exclusive supplements. In addition, we have increased the number of RHS advisors who are ready to support members with one-to-one gardening advice online and over the phone. Our telephone advice service now includes weekends and Bank Holidays.
We produce weekly member-exclusive emails full of gardening inspiration, practical advice and behind the scenes access to the RHS Gardens, where our gardening teams continue to maintain our living collections. On top of this, we have increased the frequency of our Gardening with the RHS podcast, which is now available weekly, and will be hosting Virtual Chelsea on our website, 18–23 May.
We are very grateful for the positive messages and upgrades to life membership we have received. We hope our members can continue to support us, but understand that everyone has been affected by the Covid-19 crisis in different ways.
If you would like to discuss your membership or any of the above points, please contact us on 020 3176 5810. Lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays.
World Health Organisation
UK public health authorities