COVID-19 Resources

The current situation is unprecedented for all public gardens. While many gardens might have had to close for short periods (usually associated with weather conditions and sometimes for business continuity), it is incredibly rare for a health emergency to have such an impact. This page provides a number of resources that might be useful to gardens during the closure period – and we welcome contributions of material/resources.

Useful resources

Online learning resources

If you have been furloughed, you can still engage with training opportunities. As well as the webinars offered by PlantNetwork, there are a range of other free online opportunities:

  • Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Learning Modules – available to download from BGCI website
  • ABS Learning Package – a complete ABS resources from the BGCI
  • LearnToEngage Module Resources: Interpretation, Working with Diverse Audiences, Science Communication, and Research and Evaluation. Complete a form to access the materials on the BGCI website
  • CITES Learning Modules – available from BGCI website
  • Learning modules on seed conservation – available from BGCI website
  • COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus, with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Explore How Farmers Produce Food Sustainably, University of Ready with eit Food
  • Teaching Biology: Inspiring Students with Plant Science, National STEM Centre
  • Exploring Everyday Chemistry, University of York
  • Introduction to Business Management, Kings College London
  • Management and Leadership: Well-being and Welfare at Work, Open University
  • Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management, University of Virginia
  • Ecology Live: The British Ecological Society (BES) has organised a series of free online talks on Thursday afternoons. No talk titles available yet but expect topics on biodiversity, climate change and sustainability!
  • Observatree: while tree pest and disease surveillance has been curtailed, there are still lots of resources to explore on the website and further develop your pest/disease knowledge.

General guidelines:

These guidelines are applicable to staff and visitors alike.

  • Do not come to work (or visit the garden) if displaying any of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus or have had any contact with someone infected.
  • Instigate social distancing – everyone should keep at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from each other.
  • Ensure hand hygiene is maintained at all times.
  • Avoid use of shared tools/equipment and communal indoor spaces.
  • Provide cleaning materials for use on door handles, garden equipment and other surfaces likely to be touched by contaminated material/people.
  • Minimise contact with such surfaces by keeping doors open (when possible to do so), locate staff in different locations of garden and provide disposable gloves.
  • Ensure effective and clear communication at all times through signage, regular radio contact (if no radio, use text messages or messaging app).
  • Please see the Arboricultural Association infographic on what you need to be doing to continue work

Emergency Operating Procedures and Good Practice:

PlantNetwork has developed two separate EOP documents which might be of use to gardens at this time plus a good practice document which could be helpful in developing plans to reopen for garden visitors:

  • Emergency Operating Procedure – Critical Duties: this provides some broad considerations for the horticultural team during staff shortage/operation of skeleton staff.
  • Emergency Operating Procedure – Visitor Management: considerations for when the garden is open but social distancing/increased health vigilance is required.
  • Unlocking Gardens good practice ‘living’ document

PlantNetwork temporary newsletter sign-up

If you cannot access your work email at this time, you can still access the PlantNetwork weekly newsletter. Please register again using your work and personal email addresses.


We have arranged a number of webinars – free to all PlantNetwork members. See the listings in the ‘Upcoming Meetings’ menu on the right.