I’m writing this working from home, in line with these difficult times of COVID-19. I hope that you’re all keeping well and managing to find a bit of nature, in a safe way, wherever you are.
You won’t be surprised to hear that the SLBI is going to have to close its doors for a little while. We’ve been giving it a lot of thought and monitoring the situation, but based on the latest advice we are going to close on Thursdays and postpone all of our events (and room hires) until at least Easter (12 April). Much as we’d like to keep at least the garden open, it’s just not worth the risk to anyone.
We do, however, all find getting out in nature (or even looking at pictures of it) very helpful in such times, so we will continue to think of ways we can help you do this. If safe to do so, we will try to organise some walks or something – please do keep an eye on our website and social media to keep up with the latest. In the longer term we’ll also be looking at how we might better use technology to share some of our talks etc online.
We’d just about finalised our April to September programme when this crisis hit, so we’re currently amending it and will post it out to SLBI members with the Gazette when things are a bit more settled (and we can sort the logistics of printing & posting). In the meantime, we’ll try to get events on to our website, but on the basis that they still might need to be postponed. If you’re a member and have requested seeds from our list, we hope still to be able to get these out to you in the next month or so.
Just to confirm that these events before Easter are postponed (not cancelled! We will fix them again as soon as we can):
– Imperial art class (this term)
– Terrariums workshop
– Talk on sweet potatoes
– Talk/tastings on chocolate
– Intro to Plant Morphology
– Plant ID Keys and series of 6 Plant Families (later on but also postponed)
To be decided nearer the time:
– Talk on the flora of the changing Arctic (Wed 15 April)
– National Gardens Scheme Open Day (Sun 19 April)
– City Nature Challenge walk in West Norwood Cemetery (Mon 27 April)
– Talk on Cannabidiol (Tues 28 April)
– Annual plant sale (Sat 16 May)
– Next term’s Imperial art class
Full details of these and later events, including booking details and up-to-date confirmations of whether they’re happening, will be on our website.
If you do go out to buy food, we hope that you will still shop at the Coop to support us with your Coop card! If you’re there next week, pick up a copy of their magazine, which has a great feature on the SLBI as one of their beneficiaries – including some lovely pictures of Nell and Julia in action. (Sign up here if you haven’t signed up to support us yet!). Current total raised: £408.91.
Finally, whilst a lot of places are stopping their usual activities, there are a lot of positive new ones springing up, to help those most vulnerable in our community and to prevent us all becoming too isolated in our isolation. If you’re fit and well, perhaps consider getting involved with such activities – see these for starting points:
– Eden Communities Community Action Response – https://www.edenprojectcommunities.com/community-action-response.
– If you’re in Lambeth – https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/elections-and-council/about-lambeth/coronavirus-covid-19-information
Whilst we’re not open on Thursdays for you to come and visit, we are all still working hard and on email if you have any queries or concerns (please bear in mind too that we’re not answering the office phone and anything you send to us in the post won’t get answered for a while).
Remember too that you can keep up with all our latest news and photos by following us on social media – we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll try to share some positive news and pictures of nature, from wherever we are, to bring some cheer.
With best wishes from all of us here, keep well and we hope to see you before too long.