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Arley honoured for 85 years of charity work
ONE of Cheshire’s finest gardens has been honoured for 85 years of support for nursing, caring and gardening charities.
Arley Hall and Gardens was one of the first members of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) in 1927.
It is one of only two gardens in Cheshire to receive a commemorative plaque to mark the milestone.
The award is now on display in Arley’s 500-year-old Cruck Barn and includes a 1927 shilling that represents the cost of entry to many gardens in that year.
“That one-shilling entrance fee remained in place until decimalization in 1971,” said George Plumptre, chief executive of NGS.
“Today the average charge is around £3.50 and since that first year we have donated more than £35million to nursing, caring and gardening charities.”
Arley Hall and its gardens, famous for their herbaceous borders, Ilex Avenue and row of lime trees, are open to the public for much of the year, but on special days the visitors’ fees are donated to the NGS.
The scheme was established by the Queen’s Nursing Institute as a way to contribute to a memorial fund they had set up in aid of their patron, Queen Alexandra, following her death in 1925.
Its primary nursery and caring beneficiaries are The Queens’ Institute, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Help the Hospices. In 2012 it is also helping the Alzheimer’s Society.
Lord Ashbrook said: “I’m delighted that our gardens have helped support those charities while providing people with an enjoyable day out.
“So much effort goes into maintaining the standards of our gardens each year that it is great to know our efforts are helping good causes around the country.”