Ventnor Botanic Garden: Entrance Fees Confirmed

Entrance fees for the Ventnor Botanic Garden have been confirmed in a letter to the Friends.

Readers will remember that the 125 lease between the Isle of Wight council and the Ventnor Botanic Garden Community Interest Company (VBG CIC) was signed last week.

Ventnor Botanic Garden - Hot house Water Lillies:Entrance fees for the Ventnor Botanic Garden have now been now announced for the coming year.

Although the VBG CIC are hoping that those who use the Garden will support its future by paying the entrance fees, it’s worth pointing out that head of the CIC John Curtis, made it clear at a public meeting earlier in the year that they have no plans to police entrance or construct fencing around the Garden.

GENERAL ENTRY FEES 2012
ADULT – £5
FAMILY (3 or more from one family) – £12
CHILDREN under 16 (Children under 6 FREE) – £3
SENIORS (Over 65) – £4.50 (Bring your grandchildren for free!)
STUDENTS (In full time education) – £3
GREEN TRAVEL (You arrived on foot, by bicycle or bus) – £3.50
CARERS (Registered, full time, one to one helpers/carers) – FREE
VOLUNTEERS – FREE

PARKING ONLY – £5

MEMBERS ONLY
Membership of the Ventnor Botanic Garden Friends’ Society will now include 10% off entry fee, cafe, plant sales.

EXISTING FRIENDS’ ANNUAL PASS – £32 (Added to £15 Membership = £47)
COUPLES – 40% OFF SECOND PASS – £20 (Second Member at same address £7)
NEW FRIENDS’ ANNUAL PASS – £40
TWO YEAR PASS – £60
FRIENDS’ GUEST PASS – £3.50
BOOK OF 6 TICKETS (only available to Friends & Guests) – £20.00
VOLUNTEERS – FREE

GROUPS
Groups/Coach Parties of 10 or more people – £4 (Booked in advance)
School Visits (booked in advance) – £1

MEMBERS OF VENTNOR CRICKET CLUB – 6 MONTH PASS – £30

Image: WallyGrom under CC BY 2.0

Sunday, 15th July, 2012 4:47pm

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Filed under: Isle of Wight News, Ventnor

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201 Comments on "Ventnor Botanic Garden: Entrance Fees Confirmed"

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Neil

went today, there are huge metal builders fences barricading the usual entrance so everyone is funnelled through the toll booth, all other entrances from the car park have been fenced or gated that are only open-able from inside the gardens…lots of very angry people their today……..

Cynic

It will be interesting to see just how many of the 600+ Friends of VBG will be willing to pay a net £47 p.a. to see gardens that they have supported with funds for decades. Some I have spoken to have said “No Way!

Sailor Sam

You must have been seeing things Neil. Mr Curtis said at the public meeting that no fences/policing would be happening.

Polka Dot
Right. This afternoon. 12 cars in the parking bays. A great wooden fence up at the lanes by the greenhouse. another wooden fence newly erected on the disabled access path, the path down by the cricket club, hidden by overgrowth and 4 large boulders placed across the path entryway which were not there last week, totally covering up the walkway. And then you get the builders fencing… Read more »
Daggers

Hi. I was at the gardens too a couple of days ago. And it is true. Big fencing everywhere and when told it would cost us GBP23 to go to the playground (4 adults and 2 kids (one of them already 6 years old))we decided not to go. It is an extortionate price to visit a playground.

Old Knobby

Anyone checked out access along the coastal path or other footpaths in the vicinity yet? I’ve not been through there yet this year, but would like to if the ground ever dries out.

Is it only the car park area that’s currently fenced off or the whole site?

Gatemaster

The wooden fencing by the car park entrances are gates that can be opened from either side. Visitors not wanting to support the Garden by paying for entrance can just as easily walk through these entrances.

tracey

My friend walked the coastal path today, you can still get in to Play Park & Gardens along there, she said there wasnt anyone in the play area and couldnt see anyone walking in gardens!!!

pat

please explain prices for car park etc.to visit the shakespeare theatre show later on??

Gwllchmai
Well, having paid for the current gardens via our council Tax we are now being charged an inordinate amount of money to get in for exactly the same thing. This was a great place to wander around but will now not see me or many of my acquaintances due to the high cost of parking AND the entrance fee. My meanderings will now be at Newtown Creek… Read more »
Don Smith

It’s not the locals they want to rip-off, it’s the tourists; who arrive not being aware about the exorbitant charges; will they walk away? I doubt it.

Sarah Stotesbury
I was there 26th August 2014. £5 parking fee and then £7.50 per adult entry to start with. Didn’t know about charges as don’t live on the island. I drove away. Can’t even gain entry to play park for the kids. Disgusting! Maybe a small charge. But £12.50? For a couple of hours. I wanted to have quiet moment out of my day to remember my grandparents.
Steve Goodman

Alan Titchmarsh suggests that readers of the current Waitrose Weekend bank holiday special edition might enjoy/be made envious by exploring VBG, one of his most loved gardens. Osborne & others were also mentioned; the prices were not!

bes
PLUNDER and PILLAGE ~! well, well, here we go again…!! Ventnor Council, the Isle of Wight Council are a joke, if nothing much worse!. They are giving away more and more public ameneties – they are a disgrace. Wonder how long it will take before the Botanic Gardens will need to build luxury holiday flats for the privileged. The Winter Gardens has been closed for another summer,… Read more »
Gemski

This is a real shame :( I like nothing more then to spend time here with the kids all playing on the fields and walking around the grounds but at a cost that is as high as that I can safely say I won’t be visiting again.

Hailey

Absolute rubbish … Turning a lovely walk for locals and visitors to the island to another over priced place that will be forced to close as noone will fork out these prices ….. I understand the need money to grow and develop but are these prices in line with island wages …..

Gemski

So for me and my partner and 6 year old to visit here it would cost £18!!!!! How on earth do they justify these costs???? It’s a park with a playground in??????

what a complete waste of a gorgeous venue.

Paula

No, £13, but it’s still way too much!

Vix

£12 for a family ticket of 3 or more people. So £12 to take my family of five, which is very good value in comparison to many island attractions which are almost that much to get in, each.

This is not a public park. It is a botanic garden.

Polka Dot
NO. It was a Green open space for the people of ventnor and the island that just happened to be a fantastic botanical gardens, but it was always an open venue that many saw as a public space…. and was always listed as such. It was NEVER a private gardens, or a fenced in private botanical gardens. I understand we have to change to keep it but… Read more »
Steve

The removal of the IOW Council subsidy means the gardens must currently be running at a huge loss. The gardens need new investment and must be financially sustainable. Car parking revenue alone will not be sufficient, and hence entrance fees are an unavoidable necessity.

Neil

A slightly higher parking fee, information boards highlighting the need for cash and some honesty buckets would probably have yielded a better result at first.

Polka Dot
so.. does this mean they WILL fence in the gardens. Or they wont, because they most certainly WERE funneling people through the toll gate today. so much for they wont fence it off. I will continue my daily walk through the gardens as i have been for the last 20 years. and i wont be paying to do so. I dont see why i should. this was… Read more »
val h

SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME SHAME
BETRAYED YET AGAIN

Fat Boy Fat

Why on earth would you pay to go in,very pretty well kept but who would want to pay?

yummy mummy

its such a shame…. I have spent soooo much time there with my children, catching up with good friends (always in or next to the play park)…..but i guess they will all be memories, & now many families & children will miss out!! just soo the council can make a ”quick buck”

Paula

My friend works there. Understaffed and no replacement for those on long term sick leave. Very stressed staff with no training on new tills or price structuring. It’s the future! Makes me wonder if they’re going to stop check people for tickets. If they’re not going to fence off the garden, couldn’t you just walk in from Steephill etc?

Neil

felt sorry for the staff on the tills they were taking a LOT of abuse from a LOT of very angry and upset visitors this afternoon.

Polka Dot

and what would they have done if someone had refused? after all, they have stated its not compulsory. One wonders.

Jenny

As a family we used to love visiting the gardens, there is no way we will be paying that ammount of money. With most other attractions on the island already costing more than enough, we just won’t be going anymore.

Mr J

As a general rule, Islander’s seem to hate paying for anything.

Accepting the gardens need income, perhaps they could have introduced a structured fee system? £2 this year, £3 next, £4 the year after etc.

It is a shame to exclude the least well off or have so few visitors that the park eventually closes.

Paula

To be fair, you would have to pay about £12 to get into a garden like this on the mainland.

Neil

it would cost twice as much to get into kew gardens… but its not exactly kew gardens is it, its nice for a walk and a picnic but its not a day out.

AnneeR
Yes, that is what you want to use it for Neil, but if you have an interest in the plants, VBG have several national and international collections. It is a fore-mostly a BOTANIC garden which also offers picnic, play and walking facilities. It needs to charge to maintain the qualified botanists, staff and facilities. The IWC never allowed it to be visible as a Botanic Centre of… Read more »
Polka Dot

Were not on the mainland. and this was public open space to use which we paid for in our council tax. I understand what your saying.. but it was never a private gardens.

Gemski
Kew gardens is £14 for a very good reason, it has everything that the VBG doesn’t, You can’t expect to take from the public to give to the public (look how everyone is reacting at the government for doing exactly this,) And if thats what they are doing which it’s pretty obvious from this they are then they will have to accept the fact that there will… Read more »
Micky 9
Kew also gets about 30 million in grant aid straight from Defra as well as having whopping reserves from bequests and legacies (and quite right too). There’s just no comparison in content, management or scale. For what it’s worth, I think the garden should have continued to run from the public purse but alongside an all-out marketing campaign to blow the socks off every resident and visitor… Read more »
AnneeR

Micky9, they aren’t expecting to be the same a KEW, but the hard work is going to break away from the legacy of 25 years of IWC mediocrity. Kew have never had to do this, they have been a Royal Botanic Garden for 100’s of years.
People are expecting too much too soon

Polka Dot

Then stop comparing it to kew. Only those for the charges keep comparing with kew to justify the cost of entry. WE know its not kew, you know its not kew, tell the people all for the charges, its not kew. Its not the locals that are under any illusion about the gardens, but the ones justifying the prices.

Gemski

But it’s not just £12 though it’s on top of having to pay £5 to park the car too ;s

mandy grabham

well i wont be going there ever again. greed strikes again.

angie

well this is one family thatwill NOT be going there ever again :-(((((

val h
Have taken our children and grandchildren here for over forty years now and it is a favourite place for family get togethers. Surely paying the car park fees and frequenting the cafe is enough. The cafe is going to lose out big time if local familys can’t afford the entrance fees on top of the parking and food drink and icecreams that are part of the day… Read more »
Mr Biggs
Use it or lose it guys. It is quite simple, the garden needs to be sustainable. It is not sustainable without charging. The fences are for building work not to funnel people. How bizarrely people view things. For less than £1 a week you can use the gardens 7 days a week for 365 days of the year, is that really greed? If you went there before… Read more »
Neil

if every entrance has a gate that only opens from inside the garden and the main entrance has metal barriers obscuring every entrance except for the gift shop – toll booth – how else are you supposed to view it?

Mr Biggs

You mean you went to an attraction that you needed to pay to enter and you HAD to walk through the shop/Toll booth! How very upsetting for everybody, it is almost as if you expected to sneak in for free.

Neil
No, I went to a venue that has been free to enter all my life and I was being expected to pay £12 for exactly the same thing without any prior notice. Being an island resident all my life and knowing full well that its not worth £12 to get in i was a bit shocked! So were the countless other people going in – or not… Read more »
Vix

Couldn’t have put it better myself!

Polka Dot
How do you explain the newly erected wooden fence right across the lane by the greenhouse entryway , and the new wooden fence right across the disabled access slope to the left of the gift shop.. and the boulders place right across the path down the side of the cricket club , left of the main carpark then ? The scaffolding fence is up by the gift… Read more »
Nightshot
Council subsidy? As was said a LONG timne ago, the council could remove a number of pointless positions all paying over £1OOk and use the money for its true purpose, public services, but then it would means heads of dept voting for their cushy numbers to end These Gardens will be sold, then sold again, then sold some more, until someone realises perhaps they would make prime… Read more »
lin
£5 is toomuch £2 would have been better and children upto 16 free,its a lovely place a nice walk and has local history ,lizards , and a nice Cafe ,but nothing better than the park which has free exercise gadgets , ducks and fish ,Iwont pay it sorry ,i understand the new owner needs a profit , he will soon change it , it wont stay the… Read more »
Retired hack
Essentially what has happened here is that a public asset, used primarily by islanders, has been turned over to a private operator to turn into a tourist attraction. The operator will have made assumptions about the likely annual footfall – it will be interesting to see if these meet his expectations come the winter months, because these are tourist prices not Isle of Wight prices. Let’s all… Read more »
Kerstee ʚϊɞ Holden
I’m so glad they’re finally charging a nominal fee to go in the gardens, they can’t fix/improve things until they start getting some money in to spend on staff and repairs, we’ve all been enjoying it for free for years. As for under 16s being allowed in free, I think its damage from this particular group that is trying to be repaired! Too much something for nothing,… Read more »
Polka Dot
Dont talk such rot. Ive seen teenagers with books and blankets down the gardens many a time. This was a venue paid for out of our council tax.. if you dont pay council tax, you wont feel the pinch of paying it, if they want to reduce council tax to keep it in line with us no longer subsidizing it , fine. go ahead. This was a… Read more »
Micky 9

hear hear

Polka Dot

Nightshot asked what i meant by ‘there were many thing ‘they ‘ could have done’, i was referring, of course, about the council and its decision to sell off

Snow White

Ok I can see the point in perhaps an admission charge but not for car parking too I don’t think the “meadow” should be included either. From living on the mainland our gardens and temperate had always had a charge but parking was free.

Vix

There is no charge for parking if you visit the gardens. That price is Parking Only

Mr J

I visited the excellent Isle of Wight zoo recently. As a local resident, I paid just £6.50 per adult.

£5 is too much, even if they do need it.

Vix

You can spend longer walking around botanic gardens than our tiny zoo!

Don Smith

Zoo:-)

Retired hack

Very brave or very foolish of Mrs Susan Scoccia, the IW ward member for Ventnor West, to nail her colours to the mast of the administration which embarked on this vandalism. You’d have thought that, with a majority of just seven votes in 2009, she’d have wanted to keep the number of upset voters down to about three.

Donna Newnham

There is absolutely no way we would pay this amount for going into the gardens. Are they expecting to charge the same amount during the winter too? They’ll lose an awful lot of trade from it as it is not worth that amount of money.

Gemski
Ok so reading it all back and taking it all in here is how I read it…..If I chose to pay for a ‘family’ which is 3 or more people then all I need to pay is £12???? So if my family of 8 come in is it still the same???? If not how would they monitor this???? Secondly for all the comments stating that it’s like… Read more »
Vix

Then people are free to go to them. It costs hundreds of thousands to run a botanic gardens, and provide facilities (visitor centre, toilets, cafe). Botanic Gardens is no longer competing with other free outdoor spaces, but other tourist attractions.

We should be angry with the council, not the new owners who are trying to balance the books.

Gemski
Lets all just hope and pray then that some people do continue to use it and are happy paying for the facilities there, as like a previous person stated if it’s making a loss how long will they carry on running this non profitable business??? It’s a sad state of affairs that the future of VBG is looking more likely to be sold and bought out again… Read more »
Polka Dot
and they squandered about 100k on a lift system thats never really worked properly, they never went all out to put it to the public to really find an alternative to selling the gardens off to a private company. The locals came out with ideas… none were implemented. It wasnt give a fair chance because they didnt want to give it a fair chance. I went to… Read more »
Catherine Warner
Oh I’m so sad to hear of these charges which seem very high for entry to what is just a very pleasant at present not very well maintained park. I loved these gardens as did my mother and as have my children and grandchildren. It was a place to pop into ,play relax and let off steam for an hour or two. Now it seems to be… Read more »
AnneeR
Catherine, what are you expecting? After over 25 years of IWC mediocrity and lack of funding, it will need time and assistance from places like Kew to earn a title of Botanical Centre of Excellence. It is a BOTANIC garden, not a park, this needs constant work to replace specimens. They have the opportunity with experts like Chris Kidd, but they need the funds. You will see… Read more »
Don Smith

Put the blame where it belongs – With the Council.
Time we had a clear out.

Occam

At last: The Tory Council has done this. You voted them in? Hold your heads in shame.

Polka Dot

I didnt vote them in, but i will certainly be hoping to vote them out . Anyway, that wont change a thing now. Its gone, the gardens as we know it are gone for good and thats what they had on the agenda all along. They put more effort into that dodgy dossier getting the olympic torch here than they did to save the garden.

peaceful_life
Puzzle me this…… How is the square peg of ‘sustainable’ income of the gardens fit into the round hole of an unsustainable economy? THIS is why the big picture matters. In a twist of irony…those gardens lend themselves to being a sutainabilty/regeneration centre and teaching facility. If turned into a centre of excellence in permaculture, not only would it of drawn people from far and wide (and… Read more »
Micky 9
Hang on a minute, the National Permaculture Soc. itself rents rooms from BTCV in Leeds – if they haven’t got a sustainable centre of their own off the ground then how on earth can Ventnor? Wonderful though permaculture, local food and associated initiatives are, they all rely completely, for the time being, on lottery and other funding and that’s fine for projects but not for the maintenance… Read more »
peaceful_life
I understand, and agree with you on the rates and tax issues. If awareness was being heeded by decision makers then rates could be waved once it is recognized that there is a NEED for these facilities. However…there are many ways of self sustaining, local food could be grown and sold back to the community, teaching courses provided, craft sales,the building and utilities should be closed loop… Read more »
peaceful_life

With respect…does it matter if others haven’t got one off the ground?

We can.

dave

i cant see any islanders going there now, and who is going to pay to see empty flowerbeds out of season- will it be free entry in the winter? surely if it was £2 a ticket most would still go- i would. its no where near as good as other gardens ive seen on the mainland, we go mostly for the kids playground and the fish pond

TF
It isn’t so much the cost, it is the fact it has gone from a free space funded from taxes which we all paid for, to a locked off area with a price tag. Lower pricing to begin with may have worked better, to get people in to see improvements they’ve made, and make them want to come back. Does anyone know of any figures of how… Read more »
peaceful_life

Agreed TF.
If the “improvements” were to turn the entire thing into a permaculture facility…. then bingo.

Polka Dot
Personally, i cant see the gardens surviving the next five years. i do see it being sold off as a bad investment and property or high end businesses given dibs on the land. This is looking more and more like what the plan was from day one. There are and have been lots of good ideas about raising capitol, for the gardens, the loudest being from the… Read more »
No.5

I agree..not enough people care about the gardens future..all they want is a freebee

Rosemary Stewart
I wish people would understand – we are lucky to still have a Botanic Garden! If you want it to stay then please pay to go in or become a Friend to get an annual or two year pass. The metal barriers are there because there is building work going on to make a new entrance where they can display plants for sale, new information boards etc.… Read more »
Polka Dot
but, see, thats the thing, we dont have it. its no longer free, or available to use and visit with whom every you wanted, whenever you wanted. Im sorry, but to most ventnorians, thats the crux of the matter. how about this for a bright idea, A RESIDENTS PASS. Half the price of annual admission, on proof of residence. Even i would consider that an olive branch… Read more »
Neil
exactly – people have said use it or lose it, lucky to have it, must pay to keep it – its already gone! its no longer our botanical gardens free to enjoy as a valuable asset to the community – its now just another pay to enter commercial operation – we have lost our free open space why should we care any more about keeping this now… Read more »
Vix

But the owners didn’t steal it, they paid a fair price. They shouldn’t need to offer an ‘olive branch’ for they have no guilt.

Garden Pixie

Out of interest, how much was the ‘fair price’? I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere in the reports.

nightshot
It seems to be the general opinion here that the next council will not be Conservative dominated after this decision @ polka dot what do you mean by this? “How many people on benefits do you know just went down there to chill out or relax, or just enjoy this very beautiful free open space ? ” How many pensioners went there, how many coach trips, how… Read more »
Polka Dot
It was in relation to another post, and read in context makes perfect sense. Not everyone is holding down a job, and can afford the entrance fees. I see there is a discount for students and the elderly, but if your out of work tough. I know a few people that go to the gardens to meditate and do yoga and tai chi. It was free, do… Read more »
No.5

rubbish…VWG closed because nobody from Ventnor went there ( or not enough to make it viable) typical of the Island, people whine when its too late after not doing enough beforehand.

Garden Pixie

I think Polka Dot is referring to the public meetings about the botanical gardens that were held in the winter gardens last year. At those meetings plenty of residents offered help and advice on how the gardens could be improved and made viable.

AnneeR

I offered to help, I stood on the stage in front of the lot of them and got booed by the f***ers!!
I tried to come up with solutions but most of them were too anarchic to listen.
No matter what you do, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Polka Dot
Thank you. i meant just that. The general meetings and the council meetings at the winter gardens were packed with locals all concerned about the plight of the gardens. And to say nobody from ventnor used the gardens is just a joke. The level of support from the towns people equated itself very well to the packed meetings, if you werent there, you wouldnt know that. There… Read more »
AnneeR

Very concerned and very rude

Don Smith

Want a bet on it? This is Tory island.

No.5
Its a botanical garden..not a field..It employes gardeners, requires planting and managing. The reason it was almost lost was because nobody wanted to pay for it. You now have a botanical garden with profesional gardeners, a magnificent site for locals and tourists alike. If you don’t want to pay…go and find a field elsewhere, there are plenty of them.. If you want to enjoy a managed garden… Read more »
Vix

Precisely!

Mike
I agree No.5 The Winter gardens was ruined by apathy but as soon as someone tried to dp something about it (VTC) they were slated by all sides.The same is happening with VBG,although this time its the County Council (although long before VTC gets some stick over it) Viv.Like No 5 I am a socialist,you make that sound a bad thing with your 1 word comment.Socialism =… Read more »
Retired hack
As a socialist, No.5, you’ll be familiar with the concept of public ownership. This is not the same as people wanting something for nothing, it’s the belief that resources which benefit the community should be held in public ownership, for the public good, and publicly funded; rather than being held in private ownership, for profit, and available only to those able to pay for their use. The… Read more »
No.5
what… a luxury for a minority of the public. I would prefer we maintain public ownership of the essential things, whilst leaving those best qualified to nurture and grow a garden that could really become an asset to the Island rather than a nice place to sit ( which there are thousands of on the Island that nobody has to pay for.) PS I was completely in… Read more »
Mike Vallender
My own concern regarding this is that the garden attracted few islanders to visit the garden, and produced little enthusiasm for plants for peoples own gardens, and did little to encourage them into interest in gardening. My own belief is that until the gardens do something to correct this there own continued interest is as a status symbol that attracts visitors from elsewhere and concentrate on plants… Read more »
Uncle Fewster

LOL

John
It is no understatement to say this is a disgrace, and one that should lay firmly at the feet of our local council, who incidently couldn’t organise a shower in a rainstorm. I’d like to state that I understand the reasons for the private enterprise in charging for access. I’d also wish to add that I wish them evvery success as the Botanic Gardens are a fantastic… Read more »
lin

The Winter Gardens looks awful , who ever owns it should be made to sort it out its an eyesore , still the seafront was like it for years , it seems a lack of care is around .

Lynn Lansbury

A tree to the memory of my father was planted in the botanical gardens. I’m not sure if it was an ‘official’ service or just something they used to do for a donation to the gardens but I’m quite sure it isn’t the only tree planted in remembrance.
Will the next step be to charge admission to cemeteries and other gardens of remembrance?

AnneeR
Lynn, it’s not a garden of remembrance. The planting trees for remembrance was stopped years ago, nor is is a local park for those complaining about out of season flower beds. It is striving to be a Botanical Centre of Excellence like Kew (on a smaller scale) with plant collections and education – like Chelsea Physic Garden. The head Gardener Chris Kidd is an amazing Botonist and… Read more »
Catfink
I think residents would just like to not be charged the same rates as a tourist – given that residents are likely to return on a more regular basis than someone on holiday. I find the charges prohibitive, I would not pay to go in at that rate though maybe once it has developed into more of a tourist attraction I would visit once a year as… Read more »
John

I think the main issue at hand here is not the charging of visitors because this is clearly something that they need to do to make ends meet.

The issue is the selling off of key assets on the Island by our toothless local council.

Catfink

Very true you’re right. Now we are dealing with the legacy of that. I do wish the gardens well and want to support it but its sad to see people immediately excluded because of the charges. They need to make their income from other streams I feel, the potential from other potential sources (cafe, events, parking etc) rather than high entry fees.

Rowan
This is exactly it – John’s right. The Isle of Wight Council sold the Garden. The new owners must raise money to pay for the gardens. Some people may not like the way they do it, but they have to get the money from somewhere. It would be more constructive for people to suggest better ways of raising that money, as some posters have done, rather than… Read more »
Lynn Lansbury
Thank you for your comment. I did notice it is not specifically designed for rememberance purposes and my father’s connection with the botanical garden is of no interest to other vistors. Your statement that this practise stopped years ago clarifies how it would lack value for someone with a limited agenda. If the purpose is stricltly botanical excellence then you are right to ignore all other dimensions… Read more »
AnneeR
My fathers ashes are there too, no memorial. He would have paid to go in and I will also, it is a beautiful space and to keep it like that takes a lot of work and money. I have been visiting the Gardens for 30 years, it gave me my inspiration from the age of 12 to undertake a horticultural career. I’m not looking back, I’m looking… Read more »
Naboo The Shaman

well said!!!

The Auditor
THis is a very emotive issue. As someone who can remember the original Royal National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, which stood on the sight until it’s closure in the late 60’s and eventual demolition, it is probably a good thing that the CIC has taken the initiative to acquire and run the garden. Left to the cash strapped Council, then it would soon fall into… Read more »
AnneeR

Well said……Couldn’t agree more

colin
Has the pricing policy been thought through? In an earlier statement, car parking fees were to be scrapped; however it would appear they are now charged at £1.50 per person, based on the Green Travel entry price of £3.50. Is someone to be watefully employed to check the car parking to see if those using the car park have paid for entry to the gardens or for… Read more »
colin

oops, apologies for the spelling and grammar, I was amending it when it magically got submitted…

AnneeR

Colin, why don’t you offer to help and do some weeding to keep this pride of Ventnor tidy. Even Kew and RHS gardens have volunteers who do a bit of weeding. Volunteers are free, so volunteer!

colin
Volunteer? I’ve more than enough gardening to do at home, thanks. I like to go to VBG for a rest and inspiration, thank you. I’ve paid my contribution to the garden upkeep through the council tax for years, although I don’t think much of it actually got there…too much got stuck in county hall. When the rail tunnel shut all those years ago, Ventnor seemed to get… Read more »
Sara
This is really sad. I would have been quite happy to have paid an entrance fee as the gardens are beautiful and I love spending time there and so do my children. However, on very limited income the fee structure just prices us out of the market. Whist I am sure that we will visit at some point, it will have to be a planned visit that… Read more »
Mr Biggs

When I was there at the weekend I asked about children, if you are a member of Ventnor Children’s centre then you can obtain free passes through them. If you are not already a member then just go along and sign up.

MrsK
Great idea re children’s centre, however to register at the centre your child needs to be under 5. I am happy to pay a reasonable amount, and had previously enjoyed coming to the gardens for a lovely lunch in the cafe, however the yearly upfront fee for the four of us (two adults & two teenagers) probably wouldn’t justify the amount we get to use the garden… Read more »
Cookie Monster

I think they have a charge for cafe only visitors not wishing to enter the gardens.

Old Knobby

That’s an interesting business model, though I can’t see many paying just so they can come in to buy food. Nice plan if you can pull it off though! Just hope other Island businesses don’t try the same, don’t fancy having to pay a fee to sit in a pub garden on top of the cost of food and drink, however nice the view.

Rowan

Thanks Mr Biggs – a useful comment!

val h
I think, Sarah, that what you have said pretty much sums up how most of us feel.For most pensioners and families, the prices are just too high. Most people would happily pay a donation to keep the gardens going but a fee this high is prohibitive. We have often contributed to the collection box in the foyer. We love the gardens and want to keep them open… Read more »
Tilney Heritage
I agree with you AnneeR. Ventnor Botanic Garden is now a Community Interest Company and their remit is to carry out activities which fulfil a community purpose. This means we keep our Botanic Garden at Ventnor but it will have to be financially sustainable in the long term. It now has the chance to develop, in very many ways, both within the garden and education. The potential… Read more »
DH
I used to pay about £4 to use the car park and believe I was getting fantastic value for money being able to spend the whole day there with my kids running around in a clean, safe environment. Will I still go because of the recent introduction of fees? Of course I will. Nothing really has changed, I’ll pay an extra £8 knowing that I’m contributing towards… Read more »
TF

Perhaps with changes affecting the older generation directly, there may be less safe seats for the con-servatives.

Stewart Blackmore
At the last meeting of the full council, the ruling Tory group, at the best of he Leader, voted unanimously to spend the £2.29 million underspend on things like building new beach huts, a ‘Celebrate the Isle of Wight’ event, amongst other ‘initiatives’, whilst the councillor for the ward containing the VBG voted to close toilets, TICs, refused to fund the Winter Gardens and VBG. All the… Read more »
outofstep

Put 2 May 2013 into your calendar. People might vote according to their consciences this time…

barbararula

Entrance £5.00. Parking £5.00. That would mean £15.00 per couple. Too much.

DH

Isn’t parking including in the entrance fee?

Gatemaster

Correct, you pay entrance fee or parking fee, not both.

island wide
Gosh this has got a few feathers raised. The Botanical Gardens are wonderful and I think we should all count ourselves lucky that we have been able to enjoy them for free for so long. The council offloaded this facility (short sighted in my view) and the gardens must now pay for themselves, that is a fact of life. I think the management there could have perhaps… Read more »
Cynic
“The Botanical Gardens are wonderful and I think we should all count ourselves lucky that we have been able to enjoy them for free for so long.” Can we explode this myth of the “Free” VBG? It has never been “free” for Islanders under the IWC. We paid for it via our Community Charges every year. re we likely to get a reduction in that charge now… Read more »
Cynic

Ooops! Here is the missing “A”- not “re” but “Are”

island wide

Think you know the answer Cynic. Did they give a refund when the closed the toilets, off loaded the libraries etc. The answer is NO.

No.5

agreed

Retired hack

I’m not yet ready to accept the Isle of Wight Council and its behaviour as a “fact of life” (i.e. unalterable).

Marianne

Sadly my regular walks through the botanics will come to an end as paying those fees for a regular daily walk is not viable . What unfit fatcat dreamed up this madness ????????

AnneeR

@Marianne, why don’t you become a member and get in daily for a reduced rate, suggest it as a birthday or Christmas gift. At least then you can contribute to the upkeep of such a beautiful place and be able to enjoy it on your daily walk.
I do this every year for my RHS and VBG memberships.

Polka Dot
so becoming a ‘friend ‘ will stop the criticism, i doubt that. Im a friend and will criticize this till the cowes come home, and so are a lot of ‘friends’ criticizing the policies put into place. AnneeR, if your a friend yourself im sure youve heard it, theres a lot of disgruntled VBG friends not happy about the charges and the changes but giving their support… Read more »
AnneeR
The Friends – well a great job they do, but unfortunately some, not all want to continue to run the gardens like a church fete! When the media was fixed on the gardens 18 months ago and people wanted to donate money, that was an opportunity wasted. The mere suggestion of playing on the media and public outrage and set up a paypal donation site made most… Read more »
Polka Dot

I have to agree on this point, it was a chance wasted, there is no denying it.

lin
Well said Marianne, i meditate in there my Mother was in the T.B. hospital there , its a lovely place and offers alot of different things to different people , i cant afford £5 everytime i go , i know they are trying to wrap it up to be cheaper with a season ticket, maybe they should have done a free day once a week ,or a… Read more »
Cath
Well, whatever we all think of the price for admission to the gardens, one thing is certain. It wont bring in any more visitors than they get at the moment. In fact it will only reduce numbers. I, for one, have to say I can’t afford £40 or £50 for family membership and the daily cost for our occasional visits will unfortunately rule it out. What I… Read more »
Rowan
Many of the plants are labelled, but people have moved or stolen the labels in the past. To have all the facilities that a botanic should have, and which Ventnor Botanic Garden deserves, it needs proper funding. If the Council top mangers had backed the Garden and its staff in the past and their valiant efforts to bring in outside funding, and if the Council had promoted… Read more »
Polka Dot
Right. This afternoon. 12 cars in the parking bays. A great wooden fence up at the lanes by the greenhouse. another wooden fence newly erected on the disabled access path, the path down by the cricket club, hidden by overgrowth and 4 large boulders placed across the path entryway which were not there last week, totally covering up the walkway. And then you get the builders fencing… Read more »
no.5

ohhh ‘iritates ventnor’…better sit down and have a cup of tea .humans have the habit of retrospective protest following years of apathy

Polka Dot

Tell that to the towns people that showed up in droves at the public meetings concerning the gardens. No apathy there.

AnneeR

No apathy, but the lack of intelligence to come up with any solutions to the inevitable, just anarchic booing at people who stood up on the stage and tried to look at a positive way forward….No wonder no-one came forward to help when they get a reception like that. Shame on them

playingthenumbers
@AnneeR “No one came forward”? Islanders voted for 40 cllrs, not 6 (cabinet) & a three-line whip. The point of 40, is that debate is channelled through one’s appointed representative, who blessed with experience & wisdom works together with the other 39 to come up with solutions that hopefully benefit the widest possible number, or at least protects the vulnerable. The sell off was another delegated decision,… Read more »
Polka Dot
and do you think you were the only one who got up and was counted then ? i for one did, and so did a lot of others, and yes, im a ‘friend ‘, so is my family, and have even helped clean up rubbish and tend flower beds. Your helpful advice to people , aiming them at friend membership is not within reach of everyone, not… Read more »
Polka Dot

not everyone has that 50 odd quid. worded my post wrongly . my apologies.

No.5

exactly my point…they turn up in droves when its too late

AnneeR

@Polkadot
Why don’t you develop a pricing strategy for locals and IW residents who want to just use the garden regularly. Make it sensible and give it to John Curtis, he is very approachable and will listen. I agree the price for the regular visitor is high if you are on a limited income.

Polka Dot
Sure, I’ll give it a go, but I’ll push for a residence pass. Half the price of a freinds membership, and no additional cost on admission. I dont care what they make in the carpark or admission to anyone else, This space was given over to the townsfolk of ventnor, my bug bear is the price to locals, after all, this was our space, and is still… Read more »
val h
Exactly the same attitude as with the Winter Gardens. Local enthusiasm and community initiatives shoved aside for private profit. The family silver all sold off- even half the loos and this is an Island dependent on tourism for it’s survival. The basic need for public conveniences is not even adequately catered for. Both Isle of Wight Council and Ventnor Town Council have missed golden opportunities here. No… Read more »
Uncle Fewster

ROFL! No, really – ROFL!!

Simon kinsey
Firstly I have been visiting the B.G for over 20 years on my holidays and it is one of our favourite places to have a wonder with my family. I understand it is time to contribute a little more however £5 per adult is way too much to charge for what is there, the family ticket prices are still a bit high for what is there. I… Read more »