The Royal Horticultural Society has taken the decision to cancel the 2020 Chelsea Flower Show.
The 2020 show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea was due to take place from 18-23 May, but with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across Britain it has become the latest in a long line of events to be cancelled. You can read their full statement here.
‘Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and ongoing situation with COVID-19, all RHS Shows, Garden events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June 2020. RHS Gardens remain open, with a number of increased precautionary measures in place.’
The RHS have emphasised that the safety of their members, visitors, exhibitors and staff remains their number one priority at this challenging time.
The cancelled shows include the RHS London Spring Launch & Orchid Show, the RHS Flower Shows in Cardiff, Chatsworth, Harlow Carr, the RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show and the Malvern Spring Festival.
Everyone who has purchased a ticket will be contacted in due course and offered a full refund, so the charity ask that ticket holders refrain from contacting them immediately.
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Although other such public gatherings have been merely postponed, flower shows are much harder to reschedule, as the flowers have been grown to be their best in Spring. This will be the first time that the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been cancelled since World War II.
‘We know this will be very sad and disappointing news for all involved with our shows, as well as for our members and visitors who have purchased tickets and enjoy our shows every year.’ Add the RHS. ‘Our four RHS Gardens – RHS Garden Wisley, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, RHS Garden Harlow Carr and RHS Garden Rosemoor – remain open. However, all Garden events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June. If Government guidance changes, we will of course react immediately.’
Later shows may be cancelled depending on government advice, (such at the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July and the individual RHS garden flower shows in August and September), in which case the option for a refund to ticket holders will once again be offered.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said this: ‘In these unprecedented challenging times we have carefully followed Government advice and made difficult, responsible decisions with the health and safety of people at the foremost of our minds. Our RHS Shows are vitally important platforms for the horticultural industry, and we are especially aware of the impact of cancelling these events on everyone involved. We will be doing all we can to help growers and nurseries to sell the plants they will have grown for the cancelled Shows.’
Everyone who was due to be involved in Chelsea 2020 will be accepted at Chelsea 2021.