Coronavirus: National Trust warns people not to meet in large groups over weekend

Visitors to some of the Anglia region's stately homes and gardens have been warned to follow government guidance on coronavirus.

The National Trust - which manages places like Ickworth House in Suffolk and Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire - said people should be cautious about getting too close to others if visiting their attractions at the weekend.

The charity are aiming to keep the gardens and parks of their properties open, although indoor spaces will be closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Read more: Mother's day tributes to self-isolating supermums

While the government have urged people to observe social distancing measures, like keeping two metres away from other people, they have said people are permitted to walk in the countryside.

Speaking on behalf of the National Trust, who have dropped parking charges at their properties, nature expert Andy Beer warned that smaller gardens could be closed if they become unsafe.

Mr Beer said: "We’d encourage people to stay local and enjoy the first moments of spring where they are rather than making an unnecessary journey.

“We’ve had so much support for our move to keep our outdoor places open which has been really terrific to see. However, we have a responsibility to adhere to government advice and although many can continue to enjoy many of our outdoor places we recognise this weekend is likely to be a challenge.

“To ensure we are encouraging people to stay aware of social distancing, many of our smaller parks and gardens could be closed this weekend. The wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors remains our top priority.”

Read more: Opera singer puts on concert for the elderly in Suffolk care homeMr Beer was speaking on Friday, 19 March, ahead of what is expected to be a bright and sunny weekend, and with many people making plans for Mother's Day on Sunday.