Ventnor Botanic Garden: Friends Canvassed Over Proposed Entry Prices

Friends of the Botanic Garden are being canvassed about proposed entry prices – your constructive feedback would probably be welcomed by the CIC too. Feel free to comment on the article on VB.

The Ventnor Botanic Garden Community Interest Company (VBG CIC) is canvassing Friends of the Botanic Garden on proposed entry fees.

Botanic Garden:Readers will remember the likelihood of the CIC having to charge an entry fee once the attraction was out of council hands was announced back in March.

We understand the transfer of leasehold from the council to the CIC, which was due to take place in April, is now imminent.

Annual entry for £1 a week
A draft structure for entry/parking has been sent to Friends, who are being asked to feedback their comments by Sunday 17th June.

The reaction that VB has had from those who have seen the prices, which are based on comparable gardens and tourist attractions, is that they seem pretty reasonable.

If you’re a regular visitor to the Garden, the best value seems to be to become a Friend (and why wouldn’t you with annual membership just £15).

The annual season card for Friends is £37, which means when you add your membership fee, it works out at just £1 a week.

By going down this route, you’ll be supporting the work of the Friends, the CIC and able to make use of the Garden for 365 days.

Daily tickets
For those making one-off visits, the entry price, which includes parking and any tours, films and talks is £5 per person, with a £12 family ticket for a family of three or more.

A full range of prices is detailed below, with monthly options, gift cards, parking only etc.

Friends are invited to give feedback by 17th June to [email protected]

We’re sure that the CIC would find it very useful to hear the constructive feedback from VB readers too if you want to leave a comment below.

Type of entry Price Description
Adult £5 Includes parking and day’s Tours, Films, and Talks
Family £12 3 or more from one family (yes, grandparents too.)
Children under 6 Free
Children £3 Ages 6 to 16 includes VBG Children’s Pack
Students £3 In full time education
Specials Half price

Carers Free Registered, full time, one-to-one helpers/carers
VBG Volunteers Free We love our volunteers!
VBG Friends Society Membership Fee £15 Join us. Take part in shaping the garden’s future.
Friends Annual Pass £37 Only for our Friends

£52 Unlimited Annual Garden Entry for Friends: £1/day!
Friends Guest Pass £3.5 Accompanied by VBG Friend
Green Travel £3.5 You arrived by foot, bicycle, or bus
Groups /Coaches(>10 people) £4 If you booked in advance
School Visits £1 Bring a Parent for Free
Creche Please enquire We worry, so you can enjoy the garden… (Ages 3-6)
Kid Zone Please enquire Leave ‘em with us through lunch (Ages 8-11)
IoW Residents Monthly Entry £14
Two Week Pass £18 For Overners (we think they mean visitors. Ed)
Gift Pass £35 A book of Ten Entry Passes to share
“Grow With UsSM” Course Entry Free
Cafe, Shop and Plant Sales Entry Only Free
Parking only £5 Steephill Cove Visitors
6 Month Parking Ticket £30 Members of Ventnor Cricket Club only

Image: Andy Buckland under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 13th June, 2012 2:37pm



Filed under: Community, Ventnor

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38 Comments on "Ventnor Botanic Garden: Friends Canvassed Over Proposed Entry Prices"

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The Good Fairy
Goodbye gardens.. it was nice knowing you. Gone.. a green space that mums could take kids for an hour to let off steam, a peaceful haven to eat lunch in on your lunch hour.. and just a lovely place that you could go to whenever you wished, even when your penniless you had the gardens, to sit and enjoy.. A FIVER PER ADULT !!! PS. I dont… Read more »

seems very reasonable for a Botanicle Garden…I shall be doing the Friends Annual Pass if that price is agreed

major issue

No.5 keep on voting Conservative and you will have many more opportunities to pay to go to places which were previously paid out of our Council tax . Council tax will also be increased to pay for the mad cap schemes in the pipe line from this Numpty Conservative Council.

Michael W

I remember it being said that there would not be a fence and entry would not be policed, so you can carry on as normal Good Fairy.

I get the impression the £5 entry is for one off visits by tourists, people who love the gardens and use it regularly would surely have no problem becoming a friend and buying an annual pass?

major issue

The proposed charges are far to high for a facility which was Free the Gardens will be deserted for many months of the year.You only have to look at the car park run by the trustees of Northwood house charges up Car park underused free street parking up cars everywhere.


Its a managed Botanic garden that nearly closed because it was free…


It wasn’t ‘free’. It was collectively paid for by residents through the Council Tax.

It was purely an ideological decision by those in charge at IWCC that public amentities need to make a profit.


Guess I want to be going again £12 for family!!petrol to get over there then the kids would be wanting food as they would be bored in a hour . :-(

RIP like so many buildings, gardens etc, given to councils, left to rot or mismananged by the council sold to private companies to make profit etc, the winter gardens and the botanics were public owned, so no council has any right to sell them, this is no different to buying a stolen car, it is not the new owners property I will not pay one penny to… Read more »

It’ll look good as a housing estate then…Houses there would reach a really good price.

Yes it should have stayed in public ownership…and the council should have managed it and charged entry, but a managed Botanic Garden should never have been free


Housing estate prime expensive land with sea views, wonder who else has considered that should this “project” not make enough profit

I might just be cynic though eh

Never, EVER trust a tory

Church Street Motorcycles

I think we will be knocking it off our Sunday walk route. Expect more people will head to the park now.


It is whispered that the Park was once considered as an overspill car park, another money raising idea?, I am told there are notices on Park Avenue of more double yellow lines because of traffic problems so no parking there either, the council must have a damn good reason for this anti tourist/resident polciy

I think the prices are very reasonable and will be showing my support by purchasing an annual pass. Let’s not forget that the council subsidised the gardens by several hundreds of thousands of pounds each year. The Community Interest Company cannot be expected to do the same, it has to be viable and charging makes sense. If you don’t want to contribute to the running of the… Read more »

Very reasonable. Cheaper than the parking at £1 per week (not per day as stated in the prices list). Could have been a heck of a lot worse!

Gillian Smith

Should remain free for all to enjoy!

Billy Pitt

Nothing is ever free. It’s just that you paid for before via your council tax, only visitors on holiday paid nothing. Surely this is more fair to all Islanders?


Except the £300k subsidy VBG recieved divided by the 150k islanders meant we each paid £2 per year, not £52. Whichever way you spin it, it’s quite a rise.

You haven’t factored in ROI generated from visitors enjoying this & other free amenities island wide either.

Don Smith
Do you not feel that tourist are being ripped off enough? They will be driven away on cheap package holidays where the weather is warm and sunny. I saw a family of six at the swimming pool today, they had been washed out of their tents, so they came to the pool to get dry (Yes! To change their clothes inside and in the dry) The cost… Read more »
Sailor Sam

Dosn’t the coastal path run through the gardens? Are they going to fence off the gardens then to prevent access without paying?

ummmm dont like it ,so if we bus or walk its £3.50p, once something has been free it will not go down well,what about people who have planted trees to remember loved ones or scattered ashes , i dont think its wise to charge to go in ok yes to park ,or £1 , or 50p thats cool but £5 per person is not going to go… Read more »
steve s

If you went every day of the year on a £52.00 annual ticket it would cost you approx. 15p per visit. That’s incredible value!

Is this £52 per adult person? If so, this is going to add up to quite a lot per year for, say, a family of 4 adults (2 parents and two 17 year olds, for instance). Yes, it’s a nice park, but other parks, beaches etc are available and are free so I think they may struggle here. I can see people perhaps signing up for the… Read more »
Island Monkey

What would David Pugh do?

Catherine Warner
I was extremely shocked to read about these charges. This was one of my mother’s favourite spaces and a lovely place to visit with my grandchildren and family to walk and enjoy the plants or play in the play area. It will be sad not to be able to come any more but I will certainly not pay those sort of prices for entry to somewhere I… Read more »
Alan Titch

£16. The price of admission to Kew Gardens.

Makes you think eh?


I love VBG, but there is an awful lot more on offer at Kew! I think £5 is too steep for these gardens.


Coming from Cowes we visit occasionally and love doing so, but it’s not worth our while becoming Friends of the garden for £150. I don’t see us paying £12 for a family ticket that often.

Jim B

No amount of money could pass as an entry fee, its akin to charging people to walk around Parkhurst Forest.

Jane Edmunds
I am only too pleased that the gardens were not sold off, which would probable have meant lost to Islanders and Tourists forever. I do not like the idea of an entrance fee because it will mean families and parents after school will stop due to finances. I love the idea that children can have a wonderful space to go and explore and play as often as… Read more »
Which is exactly what we shall have……there are some people – no 5, for example – that appear not to concern themselves about these issues, convince themselves, even, it’s perfectly ok, justifiable and there is nothing to complain about. They even appear to disregard 100 years of community history….then we have the real people.. The pragmatists, the poor, ideology exposers, the families, the thoughtful.”..island citizens who are… Read more »
the key in your comment is that this was a community owned site…the council in their wisdom sold it off..(well done to those that voted for them)..This Botanical Garden (not field or open ground – managed garden) is now in private hands and to be maintained has to be paid for. Pay or loose it… Some may choose to not pay..indeed many may, then the site will… Read more »
I’m sort of with you on this…… But still seething about the high handed, aloof management style of this elected council and their entrenched belief that community assets held for decades and decades can just be disposed of ….’ on their watch’ so to speak. It’s *their* property to make short term, short scale immediate disposals of when it is anything but that. I am far more… Read more »
concerned of IW
It is just incredibly sad that because of the decision the IWC has taken many children won’t be spending as much time at the gardens as I did and as my daughter has done. Our use has always been for quick trips to let off steam for an hour or so and we generally bought a drink and a cake (although overpriced and of inconsistent quality) and… Read more »
I was told by good authority that there is a covenant on the site when purchased by Ventnor UDC that entry charges could not be charged & that it could not be sold into private ownership. I know the councils legal team have gone through it & say this is not so, but they have been proved wrong on quite a few occasions so should this be… Read more »
Over the road
For a local family it is far too much money….if you live close by you need to make a decision if you will pay £1000+ over the next 10years or so years to go to the park (one that was free)….the island is not a high income area and for the majority of the families it will not be worth going when the fantastic alternatives on the… Read more »