Open day at Wellesbourne Allotments raises record amount of money for national charity campaign

The village's "large, lush and lovely" allotments attracted 372 visitors, some from as far as Derbyshire, and raised a record £3,800 for the National Garden Scheme Open Days campaign

The Wellesbourne Allotments NGS Open Day. Photo by Rob Lavers.

Wellesbourne Allotment Association is celebrating raising a record breaking amount of money for a national charity campaign through its annual open day event.

The National Garden Scheme (NGS) chose the village's allotments as a 'featured garden' on its Facebook page and website to promote its NGS Open Days campaign despite them being only one of a handful of allotments featured among the 3,600 sites in the nationwide fundraising drive.

The event included a tea tent selling cakes and refreshments, a scarecrow competition with Covid Nurse Sally being the winning entry, live music, provided by the Amicantus choir from Stratford, a plant and produce stall and children's workshops.

The winning scarecrow competition entry, Covid Nurse Sally. Photo by Rob Lavers.

The association has said: "Requiring a monumental effort by an army of volunteers, the generosity of local businesses and voluntary organisations, Wellesbourne’s large, lush and lovely village allotments attracted 372 visitors, some from as far as Derbyshire, and raised a record £3,800."

The NGS Open Days campaign has raised more than £60 million for Macmillan Nurses, Hospice UK, MIND, Marie Curie, Carers Trust, The QNI and Parkinsons UK.

Of this, £2.88 million was donated in 2020 alone.

The Wellesbourne Allotment Association has raised and donated about £7,400 to the cause over the years but had to postpone the event in 2020 due to Covid-19.

The Wellesbourne Allotments NGS Open Day event included children's workshops. Photo by Rob Lavers.

Ken Manning, the association's treasurer and event manager, said : “This is our fifth NGS Open Day and whilst it’s a challenging and exhausting experience, the pleasure visitors gain and the charitable donations we are able to make from the event is reward enough for us all.

"We are incredibly lucky to be able to draw on the wealth of skills of our members to deliver an exceptionally fun packed day, which this year included many new activities and required plot holders, Paul Harper and John Wilson to form dedicated risk assessment teams to ensure we created a Covid secure environment where everyone felt safe."

From the funds raised at the open day the allotment holders have also made donations to various organisations including the Wellesbourne Lions, Barford & Shipston Scouts, Wellesbourne Scouts, Beavers & Rainbows, Myton & Shakespeare Hospices, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and also the Rugby Autism Network, as the nominated charity of the Coventry-based, IStead AV Ltd, which provided the PA system that enabled visitors to maintain social distancing and appreciate the choir and the question time session from anywhere on the site.