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Study centre, tearoom and gardens closed ahead of Easter weekend

PUBLISHED: 11:54 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:54 08 April 2020

How Hill, in Ludhaml. PHOTO: How Hill Trust

How Hill, in Ludhaml. PHOTO: How Hill Trust

Archant

A charity-funded study centre has closed its courses, car parks and gardens ahead of the Easter weekend in a bid to encourage would-be visitors to stay at home.

Youngsters enjoy exploring nature on the water at How Hill, in Ludham. PHOTO: How Hill TrustYoungsters enjoy exploring nature on the water at How Hill, in Ludham. PHOTO: How Hill Trust

How Hill, a charity-funded environmental study centre for the Broads based in Ludham, would usually be preparing for their busiest period of the year.

But with the country still in lockdown in a bid to slow the spread of Coronavirus, trustees have now closed the site.

The popular tea room, a vital source of income for the trust, will also remain closed for the summer season.

Many members of staff have been furloughed, while others have taken voluntary pay cuts in a bid to help the venue, which has taught generations of children, survive in the future.

Director Simon Partridge said: “We do not expect any schools until the beginning of the autumn term in September. This is the main period of income, and our tea room is certainly not going to open until July at the earliest.

“Trustees have made the difficult but sensible decision to put most of the staff on compulsory leave to ensure the financial integrity of the Trust, with those remaining taking a voluntary pay cut.

“It also means our public car park and gardens are closed, so we would urge everyone to heed government advice and stay at home and to explore and enjoy the nature on their doorsteps this Easter.

“But rest assured, when the all clear is sounded, we will welcome schools and the public back through with open arms. In the meantime, we are seeking support from local and national government to help us through this unprecedented event.”

The closure comes ahead of the Easter weekend, with police urging people to stay home to “protect the NHS and save lives.”

Last weekend, Norfolk Police received more than 350 calls from members of the public reporting people ignoring lockdown guidelines.

The site has hosted school and adult residential and day courses since 1968, and has been run by a charitable trust since 1984.

The Friends of How Hill, who raise thousands of pounds each year for the trust, have also cancelled all planned events for the forseeable future.

Any schools concerned about scheduled visits can contact Mr Partridge at: simon@howhilltrust.org.uk.


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