The NGS: growing from strength to strength

Wade Financial were delighted to become the first sponsors of the National Gardens Scheme in the North East last year. In the months that followed, we could not fail to be impressed by the scheme’s success in the area.

The foundations firmly bedded, we upped our contribution by 50% for 2015. in that time, NGS North East has grown to new heights, to the benefit of garden lovers and charities across the region.

In 2014, through the efforts of volunteers and the owners who open their gardens to visitors for the scheme, £31,600 was raised in the Northumberland and Tyne and Wear area; an increase of over 26% on the previous year. In County Durham and Teesside, a further £25,000 was raised. The scheme is on track to do even better this year, raising even more money for both local and national causes.

The funds raised at openings across the North East go directly to a host of causes. National charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Hospice UK each receive approximately £500,000 every year from the scheme, but local communities also benefit, with a share of the donations distributed to schools, churches, women’s institutes and other organisations in your area.

It’s not just the donations that are growing, either. Participation continues to increase year on year, and 2015 has seen another twelve gardens added to the calendar. To the north, group openings were available for the first time at Wall and Netherwitton Villages, Belsay’s Bichfield Tower and Alnwick’s Ingram House. Towards Teesside, Moorsholm’s four cottage gardens and Congburn’s picturesque woodland are just two of the eight venues to be opened to the public this year.

In Northumberland, Bichfield Tower’s six acres, containing extensive woodland, cottage gardens and a breathtaking water feature, made an immediate impact. 350 visitors frequented the gardens on the 5th July, raising over £1,300 for a number of charities.

At the other end of the scale, the established gardens continue to draw in new guests. The Northumberland garden of Mindrum has been a regular venue on the NGS itinerary. Its 3 acres of beautiful garden overlooking the Bowmont Valley brought plenty of admirers in June, raising £3,000 for NGS charities and the local church.

We were in attendance at the tropical garden of Woodlands, a modest semi in Sunderland. 85 keen visitors helped to raise £820 on the day, with Debra Phillips (pictured above) winning £50 garden centre vouchers in Wade Financial’s free prize draw, presented by our very own Ian Little.

Spend an enjoyable afternoon in picturesque surroundings, and help raise money for worthwhile charities in the process. Two gardens – Moorsholm Village in Saltburn and Woodside House in Bishop Auckland – are open this weekend on Sunday 19th June, and the gorgeous garden at No. 2 Ferndene in Ryton opens its doors the following weekend on Sunday 26th.

For a comprehensive list of garden openings near you, check out the NGS North East booklet to the right, or visit our dedicated NGS page here.