NATURAL TRUST RIP OFF???

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by ARMANDII, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2019
    Messages:
    43,387
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +88,120
    Here's an extract from an article in the Amateur Gardening Magazine:

    "Furious gardeners have slammed the National Trust for introducing sky high parking charges at Wakenhurst Place Gardens - with some vowing to boycott the popular visitor attraction.
    Visitors vented their anger on review site Trip Advisor after Wakenhurst Place Gardends, Kew's country garden in West Sussex introduced a parking charge in April of £2 for the first hour, £5 for two hours or £10 per day for National Trust members, who get free entry in Wakenhurst.
    "This has all the makings of a PR disaster" wrote Paul from Surrey, "We have not visited since these draconian parking charges were introduced, nor will we until management see sense. We making more use of Wisley, which feels busier"
    Philip from Brighton described the charges as "economic suicide, misguided, and a disaster for Kew"
    And Maz from East Grinstead fumed"Greed and stupidity shown by Wakenhurst will be their undoing"
    National Trust members represent 80% of visitors to Wakenhurst, which leaves Kew with a deficit of £1.4 million a year. But Anthony from Edenbridge wrote on Trip Advisor "How long will it take for Sir Simon Jenkins [National Trust Chairman] and Marcus Agius [Chair of Kew] to realise what a dreadful, short sighted decision they had made, acknowledge their mistake and remove these charges?"
    One reviewer posting under the name of Achowb wrote "There were angry scenes this morning. I feel sorry for Staff who have been put in this position. I've been ripped off by the National Trust but I guess it's drinks all round in the Boardroom."
    User Eabir added "We are cancelling our National Trust membership to show how strongly we feel about this"
    In a joint statement, Sir Simon Jenkins National Trust Chair, and Marcus Agius, Chair of Kew, said "the net cost to Kew of running Wakenhurst Place is such that we have reached a point where greater income is needed if we are to continue our outstanding horticultural standards." "The best way to raise this income is through car parking charges" they argued.
     
  2. Scrungee

    Scrungee Well known for it

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    14,489
    Location:
    Central England on heavy clay soil
    Ratings:
    +23,747
    Whatever next, car parking charges at all 'loss making' NT venues? (and no cashback when visiting profitable ones!) And an ominous precedent where the venue consists only of a car park used for "free" by members.
     
  3. JWK

    JWK Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    19,817
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Surrey
    Ratings:
    +20,697
    The charges don't seem that bad to me compared to other attractions.

    @ARMANDII it would be cheaper to buy a season ticket for £25 then you can park for free for a year :blue thumb:

    From their website:
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Loofah

      Loofah Well used member

      Joined:
      Feb 20, 2008
      Messages:
      5,560
      Gender:
      Male
      Occupation:
      Business operations specialist
      Location:
      Guildford
      Ratings:
      +6,987
      Let's wait and see what happens to the numbers. I'm sure a bunch of national trust members ranting has them quaking...
      I guess they've gambled that parking charges will annoy the NT membership (tick!) and the number of free entrants will diminish; if this is tied into a new marketing drive to get more non-NT visitors then Wakehurst may see an upturn in revenue.
      There, business head finished. NT head on now - illegitimate children!
       
    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

      Joined:
      Dec 5, 2010
      Messages:
      14,489
      Location:
      Central England on heavy clay soil
      Ratings:
      +23,747
      Or join the Zimbawean National Trust for $15 USD/£8.77 per person (with reciprocal rights in UK), use some of the saving to buy a £25 parking permit and still have enough money left to buy tea and cakes for 2 in a NT restaurant!

       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Madahhlia

        Madahhlia Total Gardener

        Joined:
        Mar 19, 2007
        Messages:
        3,678
        Gender:
        Female
        Location:
        Suburban paradise
        Ratings:
        +3,087
        Seeing as only 20% of visitors are parting with money at the door (apart from NT membership) to get in I can understand why they might be a bit worried. Is the solution to raise the membership fee?
        Fabulous idea, but not generally how business works, sadly. Generally they use the profits from the busy properties to subsidise the loss-making ones, don't they?

        The free parking at open air sites is an excellent perk for members and if they started to charge for that kind of parking we'd see a drop in overall membership, I'm sure.

        If they had kept the charges to, say, £1 for an hour, £2 for half a day and £5 for a full day, people would have grumbled a bit but probably accepted it. Too greedy.
         
      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

        Joined:
        Jul 3, 2006
        Messages:
        43,611
        Gender:
        Male
        Occupation:
        Retired - Last Century!!!
        Location:
        Herts/Essex border. Zone 8b
        Ratings:
        +72,589
        I don't really care! :noidea: I'm a life member but have plenty of other places to visit where I can make use of my membership privileges - or other non-NT properties that are much cheaper.

        I suppose I might get more involved and/or upset if it started spreading to other NT properties - or be even more selective. I've certainly had my money's worth from membership so can't complain.
         
        • Like Like x 1
        • Val..

          Val.. Confessed snail lover

          Joined:
          Aug 2, 2010
          Messages:
          6,355
          Gender:
          Female
          Occupation:
          Retired
          Location:
          Hay-on-Wye, Hereford
          Ratings:
          +4,946
          If they need more funds I suppose the money has to come from somewhere.

          Val
           
        • Scrungee

          Scrungee Well known for it

          Joined:
          Dec 5, 2010
          Messages:
          14,489
          Location:
          Central England on heavy clay soil
          Ratings:
          +23,747
          With a membership of around 4 million, a 10p increase per member's annual subscription would yield an extra £400,000, which in my opinion would be a lot fairer than hitting those members who regularly visit Wakenhurst with a £25 extra charge.
           
          • Agree Agree x 1
          • Palustris

            Palustris Total Gardener

            Joined:
            Oct 23, 2005
            Messages:
            3,127
            Gender:
            Male
            Occupation:
            Retired
            Location:
            West Midlands
            Ratings:
            +2,185
            Tatton Park ahd Shugborough Hall have always had extra parking charges.
            Having said that, if charges were made for parking at any of the NT properties we visit on a regular basis, then we would just stop going and then there would be no point having membership, so net loss to them.
             
          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

            Joined:
            Dec 5, 2010
            Messages:
            14,489
            Location:
            Central England on heavy clay soil
            Ratings:
            +23,747
            There's another NT income maximisation trick, relocating the car park away from the property to the site entrance, then visitors can't picnic from their cars and have to buy food & drinks from kiosks and restaurants.
             
          • shiney

            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

            Joined:
            Jul 3, 2006
            Messages:
            43,611
            Gender:
            Male
            Occupation:
            Retired - Last Century!!!
            Location:
            Herts/Essex border. Zone 8b
            Ratings:
            +72,589
            Don't quite understand that, I must be misreading it!

            Don't you take your picnic with you or go back to the car when you want it?
             
          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

            Joined:
            Dec 5, 2010
            Messages:
            14,489
            Location:
            Central England on heavy clay soil
            Ratings:
            +23,747
            You would find it mighty inconvenient to take your picnic (food, drinks, seats, etc.) with you on a shuttle bus from a remote car and carry them around the grounds/leave them outside the property before use. OK, you could go back in the shuttle bus to eat your picnic in a remote car park outside of the grounds, but that would be far less attractive (to me at least) than being able to just take a short stroll back to ones car and picnic within the grounds of the property.
             
          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

            Joined:
            Jan 9, 2005
            Messages:
            27,600
            Gender:
            Male
            Occupation:
            joinery
            Location:
            Mid Kent
            Ratings:
            +28,089
            I dont join any thing these days, once you do they all try to rip you off.
            One reason I left RHS, after about 20yrs or so.

            Never visited Bedgebury pinetum since they turned into a tourist attraction/mountain bike track, either.

            Wakehurst was good, but I doubt I'd want to visit it more than every 5 yrs or so, in fact I found the super dooper building a real turn off.
             
          • ARMANDII

            ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

            Joined:
            Jan 12, 2019
            Messages:
            43,387
            Gender:
            Male
            Ratings:
            +88,120
            Well, I think it's more about the principle of charging members who have already subscribed
            to being a member of the NT where the understanding of the "contract" was a member was privileged, gaining advantages over the casual visitor, and then finding out some privileges have been withdrawn without consultation.,,,,,,,,,,a bit like being a member of a Road Recovery Association and finding the guy coming to rescue you is expecting a £10 surcharge for coming out.:dunno:
            I visit several private gardens of the same, if not higher, historic and gardening level of the National Trust Properties and they do not charge for car parking. Why?, because they know full well that there would be a dramatic drop in visitors and they cannot afford that. They make additional revenue from Tea Rooms, Plant Nurseries, tours, etc. They don't get the benefit of being a nationally reaching organisation regarding income via membership or being able to get grants to run and maintain their properties. I'm beginning to believe that their marketing strategies have become blunted and less free thinking due to the growth of administration within the organisation with more managers than is needed and a consequential loss of touch with the real working staff and the Public. I also don't think it would have got off the ground unless it had been approved by higher powers which leads me to suspect that this is a pilot scheme to see how it prospers and what resistance/reaction it creates. I think the NT needs to rethink ways of gaining extra finances either nationally or locally without putting an extra financial load on paying members.

            Do you mean withdraw from the NT and just get a Season ticket for Wakenhurst, or stay as a member paying your subscription as a member and additionally a Season ticket to make parking cheaper by having to visit Wakenhurst enough times to merit the ticket?:scratch: The first would have the disadvantage of having to pay entrance fees at other NT properties, the second would force you to visit Wakenhurst probably more times than you would like just to make it econical,,,,,,,and what would happen if it is a Pilot Scheme and they bring parking charges for all NT properties, would you have to buy an additional Season ticket for all the properties you want to visit in a year.??:scratch::doh::dunno:


            [quote="shiney, post: 829949, member: 1458"]I don't really care! I'm a life member but have plenty of other places to visit where I can make use of my membership privileges - or other non-NT properties that are much cheaper. I suppose I might get more involved and/or upset if it started spreading to other NT properties - or be even more selective. I've certainly had my money's worth from membership so can't complain. [/quote]

            I must admit I'm surprised at that first comment, Shiney:hate-shocked::heehee: You're a member of a organisation that you like and value and also have a high level of business/organisational experience and financial expertise:love30: and yet you're not worried that this might be a damaging error of business judgement??:dunno:
            As regards your second comment, do you not think that this might be a Pilot Scheme to introduce parking charges nationally to all subscribing members and that could lead to a drop in members and visitors???:scratch::snork:
             
            • Agree Agree x 1
            Loading...

            Share This Page

            1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
              By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
              Dismiss Notice