Dobbies in Ashford and Gillingham reopens soft plays with safety measures in place and age restriction of two and over

Soft play attractions at two Kent garden centres have reopened but can't accommodate children aged under two to play for the time being.

Dobbies Garden Centre is welcoming youngsters back to soft plays in both its Ashford and Gillingham stores and has released a video to show parents and carers all the precautions it is taking. Scroll down to watch.

Dobbies is to reopen its soft play attractions in Ashford and Gillingham
Dobbies is to reopen its soft play attractions in Ashford and Gillingham

But in order to limit the number of adults needing to actually go into the play area, babies and toddlers under two are not yet permitted to play but can sit with adults at a table inside.

New safety measures and social distancing are in place for both staff and customer safety.

This includes cleaning all equipment and surfaces before opening, mid-way through the day and after closing whilst a strong anti-bacterial cleaning product will also be applied fortnightly.

There will also be fresh caps on visitor numbers, which have been reduced by half,with customers asked to book in advance to both manage numbers and enable staff to collect details for the NHS Test and Trace.

Extra hand cleaning stations will also be available and adults will be required to wear a face covering until they are seated at a table within the soft play. Face coverings are not required for children under 11.

From October 1 sessions will also be reduced from the current 90 minutes to an hour each.

Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “We have successfully reopened garden centres and restaurants across the UK, and are well-placed to welcome customers into our soft plays. Thank you to all team members who have worked hard to ensure our soft plays are ready and we look forward to welcoming visitors for a fun and safe day out.”

For further details of the new restrictions or to make a booking for your family please visit

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