Museum News

Museum update: reopening plans

By 9 June 2020January 13th, 2021No Comments
The Weald & Downland Living Museum countryside and lake

We are delighted to announce we will be reopening on Monday, 6 July to the general public and from Monday, 22 June to Museum Members only.

We look forward to welcoming visitors back to enjoy their much-loved outdoor site, set in 40 acres of the beautiful South Downs National Park.

The well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff is of the utmost importance, and the Museum team have been working hard to ensure the correct safety measures are in place and that there is a robust social distancing plan that adheres to government guidelines.

As part of our reopening strategy and to ensure social distancing restrictions can be maintained, entry to the Museum site will be through timed, pre-booked tickets only. Tickets will be available to book online from Wednesday, 17 June and will need to be booked in advance by midnight the day before arrival. This applies to Members as well as the general public.

There will be a take-away service available onsite which includes hot and cold refreshments. Visitors can bring their own picnics to enjoy in the scenic grounds of the Museum, however, we ask that all visitors follow correct social distancing guidelines and clear up after themselves.

Further health and safety protocols have also been put in place including additional signage, way finding markers, queuing systems, safety screens and contactless transactions, as well as increased cleaning and sanitisation.

Museum Director, Simon Wardell, comments:

“This has been the most challenging period in the history of the Weald & Downland Living Museum, but we are thrilled to be able to reopen our extraordinary site in the coming weeks.”

“As a thank you for the loyalty and continued support of our valued Members, we wanted to offer them an opportunity to return to the Museum before we open to the public. As a charity, ticket sales and memberships are our core source of income so the support of Members over the last few months has been incredibly important to us all.”

“Over the last few weeks our team has worked extremely hard to implement significant social distancing and safety measures to ensure the wellbeing of our visitors. We appreciate everyone’s support, understanding and patience as we adapt to our new opening arrangements and online booking process. We look forward to welcoming you all back very soon.”

The Museum will continue to monitor government guidance during this time and will adapt their opening arrangements to adhere to any new requirements, therefore please keep an eye on their website and social media channels for any further updates.

Background information

The Weald & Downland Living Museum is an icon of South East England tourism and a living history museum of national reputation and importance.

As a charity and a self-funded independent museum, we live on what income we make ourselves, with a hopeful small surplus each year to reinvest in the care of the collection and visitor experience.

90% of our income comes directly from our visitors through admissions, our cafe, shop, events and courses. Whilst we have been closed this income is lost to us, and that has a serious financial impact on the Museum.

The Weald & Downland Living Museum is an educational charity and an independent Museum, which means it is entirely self-funded and independent of core government funding. Funds are required to conserve the historic buildings and artefacts on site and these come from visitors, members and Museum supporters.

Located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, the award-winning Weald & Downland Living Museum has over 50 historic building exhibits and is designated by the Government for the outstanding importance of its collections.

Exhibits include a medieval farmstead; a working watermill producing stoneground flour; exhibitions focusing on traditional building techniques and agriculture; historic gardens; farm livestock and a working Tudor kitchen. The café uses the Museum’s flour and the shop stocks flour, gifts and books.

‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ at the 2019 Celebration of Sussex Life Awards.

Why are we asking for donations?

We need your help now more than ever.

90% of our income comes directly from our visitors via admissions, our shop, café, courses and events, and our busiest season is now (April–September). This means that we are vulnerable in a crisis such as this.

How can you support the Museum?

There are a few ways that you can help make a difference to us at this time. From making a general donation to purchasing an annual membership, we greatly appreciate anything you can give.

Your support truly matters and will make, this, our 50th year something to celebrate – thank you.

Become a Member

Annual Membership gives unlimited access to the Museum, discounts in our shop and cafe, including special offers. It also provides a vital foundation of support for the Museum.

Make a donation

There are a couple of ways to make a donation:

1) General donation

If you would like to make a donation whilst at the Museum, please speak to one of our admission staff who will be able to accept your donation at the till point.

2) JustGiving

Simply visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/SupportWDLM – no matter how small, anything will make a difference!

3) Text to donate

To support us with a monthly text donation:

  • Text WEALD to 70450 to donate £5 monthly (texts cost £5 plus two standard rate messages), or if you would like to donate more:
  • Text WEALD 10 to donate £10 a month, or
  • Text WEALD 20 to donate £20 a month

To support us with a one-off text donation:

  • Text FUTURE to 70480 to donate £10 (texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message), or
  • To donate any amount between £2 and £20 text FUTURE plus the amount you wish to donate, for example FUTURE 15 to donate £15 (this will include one standard rate message).

Thank you and we hope to welcome you to the Museum soon.