The National Trust in Kent is set to open its parks and open spaces for free so that people can still get out and enjoy some exercise.
The news comes as the charity, which is marking its 125th anniversary this year, will close its pay-for-entry sites including houses, cafes and shops tomorrow in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The National Trust’s director-general Hilary McGrady said the charity would be working, where possible, to keep as many gardens and parklands open, free of charge, alongside coast and countryside, to encourage the nation to enjoy open space, while observing social distancing measures.
She said: “The National Trust was founded 125 years ago for the benefit of the entire nation. We want to honour our mission – to enable people and nature to thrive. Over the coming weeks we will do all that we can to keep on providing public benefit through caring for places and giving people access wherever possible.
“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.
In Kent, the trust's sites are:
At Chartwell near Westerham the gardens and parkland will remain open Monday to Friday, while observing social distancing measures, for a trial period.
At Smallhythe Place near Tenterden, the wider estate will be kept open, though the gardens will be shut.
Scotney Castle at Lamberhurst is keeping its estate open with access via public footpaths as the car park will be closed.
At the White Cliffs of Dover site, which is popular with walkers, the car park and countryside walks will remain open, but the visitor centre will be shut.
Knole near Sevenoaks is keeping its parkland open to pedestrians. The car park and all other facilities will be closed.
At Sissinghurst Castle the estate walks will remain open while the gardens, shop and restaurant will be closed.
At Ide Hill near Sevenoaks, Emmetts Garden's footpath will be open, but all other facilities will be shut.
South Foreland Lighthouse at Dover will be closed along with Stoneacre near Maidstone and Quebec House near Westerham,