Botanic Gardens Page 2

reception

Reception

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 The ticket office is on your left hand side as you come in through either the main gate or the level access entrance.  The door is propped open during visiting hours, but it may be a bit narrow for some larger wheelchairs.  There is a reduced height section at the counter, but no hearing loop available.  The reception area also functions as the shop.  Please see the “Gift Shop” section on page two for more information. 

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doors

Doors

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The glasshouses do have large glass doors, and these can be very heavy if closed, particularly the door to the main glasshouse, which is up a slope.    

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Gardens - Glasshouses

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 The glasshouses are arranged in two groups; Carnivorous plants, Lily House, Fernery, and Alpine House are in the group closest to the ticket office, and Arid House and Palm House are further along (see map).  Long corridors link the areas within each group.   Flooring in the glasshouses is a mixture of paving, textured concrete, and wooden boards.  There are access features to note in the glasshouses below;

Conservatory – The conservatory floor is fairly even and there is a backless bench to rest on.  Most of the plant labels are at the right height to be seen from a wheelchair.  Please be aware that there are two metal poles in the middle of the floor space which support the ceiling.   There is plenty of space to move around.

Carnivorous Plants – Plants in the carnivorous house are arranged on two levels of staged beds, and wooden ‘cobbles’ on the floor can be rough going for wheelchair users.  There is a magnifying glass available to appreciate the details of the plants, and the door is rather narrow.  Again, there is plenty of space on quieter days.

Lily House – Space inside the Lily house is tight, particularly around the corners of the main pond, so it may not be fully accessible for those in wheelchairs.  The humid houses have gratings in the floor with holes approx. 2cm square.  Take care when walking with narrow sticks or heels!

Fernery - There is a stone floor in the fernery, and the high humidity means that it has the potential to become quite slippery, so please take care

Alpine House - There is one concrete step with no handrail to the alpine house from the gardens, but level access is available from the main glasshouse.  The alpine house is not large enough for wheelchairs to turn around, so those in wheelchairs will have to back out the way they came in; please take care on busy days!

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Gardens - Borders and Outdoor Areas

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There are benches with backs scattered around the gardens, centred on the fountain area.  Visitors are allowed to walk on the grass, but the lawns often have a small lip up to them, which some wheelchair users might need a hand negotiating.  The gardens run down to the river at the lower end, and the drop is marked by stone edging.   The paths are mostly hard packed gravel which is easy going for wheelchairs, although some paths among the beds are too narrow to negotiate easily. 

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Signs and Labelling

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 There are different types of labelling in the gardens, but most are the ‘traditional’ small slate-effect labels, which those with visual impairments might find hard to read.  The glass display board in the glasshouse corridor is also difficult to read.  Audio trails for some areas of the gardens can be downloaded at http://www.botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk/getting-more-your-visit

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Exhibition Room

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Leave the ticket office by the entrance, and the exhibition room is past the arch on the right hand side.  There are three concrete steps up to the room, with no handrail or nosings.  A portable ramp can be used for level access, although this is very steep; please ask at reception.  Wheelchair users will need both doors opening.  Once inside there are moveable chairs, a low sideboard, and plenty of ambient light.

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At a glance

On-site disabled parking spaces 0
Parking nearby (within 200m) Blue Badge
Main entrance Level
Alternative entrance (level access) Yes
Door entry Automatic
Direct contact to reception Intercom
Number of floors 1
Accessible toilets 1
Lift to all floors N/A
Hearing support system No