Garden and greenhouse site told not to charge visitors

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has revealed it will not impose a fee to visitors, despite reports suggesting to the contrary.

According to BBC News, the horticultural attraction has run into fiscal difficulty after investing £1.2 million into Icelandic bank Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, which subsequently went into administration.

So far, around 20 per cent of the investment has been recouped, although the news provider revealed there is hope that more will be returned.

Commenting on the prospect of a levy being imposed on visitors, the sites Regious keeper professor Stephen Blackmore explained the trustees have been told the garden must remain "freely accessible to the public".

"Almost all the botanic gardens in the country charge an entry fee and so the trustees had mooted the idea to environment minister Richard Lochhead but he ruled it out as he didnt want there to be a charge," he told the online resource.

Professor Blackmore added seeing other charities refunded their investments by the government had been a source of frustration for the botanical attraction.

Meanwhile, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is set to open its John Hope Gateway, which will frame the west gate entrance, providing extra visitor facilities.