UPDATE 30th May 2020
The Campsite, Norden House and Norden Cottage remain closed until further notice.
The shop is open and our hours have been newly extended (see details below).
We would like to thank our campers once again for not attempting to get on site over this bank holiday weekend. We realise that people are looking forward to lockdown restrictions being eased and many are excitedly planning their summer holidays and trying to make bookings. However, we are not there yet, far from it, and campsites along with all other businesses in the hospitality and leisure sector have no confirmed dates when they might be able to reopen, and just as importantly how they might be able to do that safely. The best they can do is get as prepared as possible and part of that process is to work out how they can manage their sites safely whilst the virus is still a considerable danger to us all. We have already said that it will not be ‘business as usual’ this year and it is clear is that there will be restrictions in place for the foreseeable future. In our message below we have highlighted the issues our site is likely to have and how we propose to manage those issues safely. We understand that many of you are worried about the restrictions and how they will affect you but we feel it is better that you are fully aware of what we would need to do to be responsible as individuals and as a business in terms of dealing with the crisis.
In respect of current bookings, we have been contacting you by phone or email on a four week rolling schedule prior to your arrival to postpone to a future date, generally for sometime in 2021. All customers booked for arrivals up to 5th July have now been contacted so we have put that process on hold for the time being. There is little else we can do at this stage but wait and see how the pandemic unfolds. However, we plan to be contacting those booked for 6th July onwards as we get a bit nearer the time and when the way forward may hopefully be a little clearer.
In the meantime, we are still getting a great many people making enquiries for July and August so to be clear on this we are NOT taking any further bookings for any dates before 7th September. There are two reasons for this:
We DO NOT have a definite date for re-opening.
We have a lot of bookings to manage already for these two months, some of which we MAY yet need to postpone if numbers are to be controlled and restrictions put in place.
We know that this situation is inconvenient, frustrating and an assault on our perceived sense of freedom but there is no ready-made solution for anyone at this stage. We do not expect to get any further information on stage 3 of the lockdown easing from the government until at least the middle of June; after all, we have barely embarked on stage 2 yet. We update our page regularly so rest assured that as soon as we have any news we will let you all know.
A Message to all our Campers about opening IF AND WHEN WE CAN
If you have been following our website updates, you will be aware of how we have responded to the Covid 19 pandemic. If not, then to briefly bring you up to speed, the campsite has remained closed since March 22nd. We have been adhering to the Government advice throughout and will continue to do so for the duration. At the moment we are still very much in a period of ‘wait and see’ but it does seem that the Government is intending to get most businesses open in some form in early July, if all their national health conditions are still being met.
However, there are still five weeks to go and a lot can change in that time. Since the Government introduced the road map to lifting the lockdown, people have assumed that the dates are set in stone which of course they are not. Whatever transpires and whenever campsites can open, official guidelines will need to be implemented. Businesses across the board are being encouraged to devise their own ways of managing their practices and premises in order to comply, bringing in a variety of different protocols that suit their circumstances. They are also being required by law to undertake a risk assessment with regard to Covid 19. Each campsite will differ in how it goes about doing all this according to their own set up; what one campsite will be able to do, another will not and vice versa. With the situation as it is at the moment, we envisage the conditions under which we will be able to manage our site safely at our point of opening are as follows.
The main issues for us at Norden Farm are:
- The safety of the working family owners, all of whom live on the farm, and our small ‘bubble’ of staff in the shop and on the campsite. Without these people being fit and able to work, neither the shop nor the campsite would be able to open at all so their protection is paramount.
- The safety of our local community and our visitors.
- The social distancing rules which will need to be implemented across the site.
- Suitable and sustainable cleaning regimes everywhere but particularly for the facilities and the shop/reception.
The Measures we COULD be taking to allow us to manage the site and keep everyone as safe as possible,
Apart from the self-explanatory and standard measures that all businesses are implementing such as hand gel points, cleaning regimes and PPE etc, these are the ones that are specific to our site.
- In line with the thinking of many sites, we would likely to be reducing the number of people on site at any one time. This would be done by taking our tent field out of use and spreading out the pitching in our EHU fields to facilitate social distancing for our campers. It is extremely likely that we would also be excluding group bookings of more than two units.
- We would likely be requiring people to pay in full by card over the phone immediately before arrival to lessen staff/customer contact and alleviate queuing outside for the reception. Details of how and where you would be pitched have yet to be decided.
- We simply do not have the staffing capacity to implement a viable cleaning regime that would be sufficient to keep the facilities sanitised, so would likely be keeping these closed, certainly in the short term. Limited toilets may be available for use and the chemical toilet/grey water facility would be available. This would mean that we would not be able to accommodate any units that do not have their own facilities on board, so tents and campervans unfortunately would not be able to come.
- All communal areas would need to be closed; this includes the play park and ball games area. Children would be required to stay in the field and within the vicinity of their own pitch at all times and would not be allowed to wander, play or ride their bikes around the woods, farm or shop.
- The shop has been open and maintaining social distancing throughout the lockdown. Customers in the shop at any one time have been limited to six and others have been required to queue outside at 2 metre spacings. This rule would apply to campers as well and children would not be allowed to enter on their own.
- We would be issuing a new set of on-site rules and etiquette to those that do come and operating a zero tolerance policy for any deliberate flouting of these. This may sound awful and rather draconian but it would be for the benefit and safety of everybody.
Please note that these are outline plans which will need ‘fleshing out’ over the next few weeks if they are to be required. As we have already said, there is a while to go yet and the situation could change at a moment’s notice, either for better or worse. We will keep our plans under review and update you as we go
Whilst we know that a great many people have been looking forward to their holiday and are going to be extremely disappointed this year, unfortunately it seems this is going to be unavoidable. We would hope to be able to provide a holiday for some even though there will definitely be considerable restrictions in place. The measures we will need to implement are designed to comply with Government rulings and ultimately limit the spread of the virus and reduce risk for everybody. The summer season this year is going to be patchy at best but right now, in the scheme of things, if missing a holiday is the worst any of us have to face, then we should consider ourselves lucky indeed.
Just to clarify, please note that we DO NOT have a specific date for opening as yet and are not taking any further new bookings for July or August. For current bookings we are working on a four/five-week rolling schedule ahead of your arrival and have reached July 5th. Those booked for 6th July onwards will be contacted as we get nearer the time when the situation will hopefully be clearer.
NORDEN HOUSE AND NORDEN COTTAGE
We have no definite plans for either of these properties as yet and they remain closed until further notice.
This is open for essential supplies, animal feedstuffs, plants and gardening goods. We will be slightly extending our hours as from Thursday 21st May. These hours will now be:
9.00 am – 5.00pm Mondays through to Saturdays
10.00am – 4.00pm Sundays starting 24th May
As from 1st June, we are cutting our delivery service back by just one day to three days a week and it will now be available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons to the local area only. Minimum order £10, some basic conditions apply. Please see our FB page for more details. We also have a simple online form that you can use to place your order. If you are unable to use that or wish to ask questions about your shopping then please do still email us or call us direct. We will continue to offer this service for as long as the demand is there but we may need to cut down on the delivery days in the coming weeks.
You have all become used to this by now but just as a reminder, please respect the safety of our dedicated staff and other people and visit only when you really need to. You must maintain social distancing at all times.
We feel gratified that people are taking advantage of our delivery service rather than visiting in person, but please can all customers remember that the home delivery format is not our normal form of business. We are delivering to customers who wouldn’t normally shop with us and that is fine. We may make mistakes and not dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s but we are doing our level best and are running this as a service in a time of need rather than as a business to make masses of profit. We will always endeavour to correct genuine errors if necessary.
As a small family business we really do appreciate your continued support; in finding our way through this crisis, we all need to adapt and accommodate a new normal into our lifestyles. The rules are still really not that difficult; stick to them so that we can all get through with the minimum of collateral damage.
STAY ALERT AND STAY SAFE
The Norden Farm Team.
Coronavirus – Covid 19 advice:
Please find below links to the latest Government advice and also what to do if you are experiencing any symptoms or are concerned you may have been exposed to the virus.