NGS gardens opens for charity in Copeland

By Gráinne Jakobson

ngsHAVE you seen the big, yellow arrows dotted around the area?

They are showing you the way to a local garden that opens for the National Garden Scheme (NGS) charity.

The NGS is a major charity that supports, mainly, caring and nursing charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie cancer care and Help the Hospices.

Nationally over £43 million has been donated to our charities.

In Cumbria alone over 60 gardens open and last year we raised more than £54,000-a staggering amount considering we have the a low population!

You may have already spotted the yellow booklets that are available free of charge in garden centres, tourist centres etc. which have all the important information about the gardens, dates and opening times and details of how to get there.

It is a fact that gardening is good for your physical and mental health but garden visiting is also good for you.

It is relaxing and uplifting to spend time in a beautiful garden where someone has spent lots of time and effort to make it look its best.

Even if you are not a mad keen gardener most of the gardens offer refreshments with, very importantly, home-made cakes and scones etc. Some have cake sales, plant sales and activities for children.

Lots of volunteers are needed to make this scheme work; those that generously open their gardens and all the helpers who collect monies, bake cakes, do the administration, deliver leaflets and serve the teas and…those that come along to visit.

In our immediate area there are currently 5 gardens involved in the scheme: Woodend House (Egremont), Hall Senna (Gosforth), Galesyke (Wasdale), Berriedale (Whitehaven) and, new this year, Fern Bank (St. Bees).

As well as holding specific ‘open days’ these gardens are ‘open by appointment’ for small groups. So if you are a member of a gardening club, WI, an interest group or just a group of friends then you can arrange to visit just contact the individual garden owner.

You can also book a speaker who will come and talk to your group.

If you are a keen gardener yourself maybe you would like to join the scheme and open your own garden-it is easier than you think and you will be given lots of advice and help with advertising etc.

Your garden doesn’t have to be grand or perfect so if you are thinking about this just get in touch for a chat. So next time you see those big yellow arrows just follow the road and take a look.

Take a look at our new Facebook page: Cumbria NGS for posts and updates and follow us on Twitter @cumbriangs.

For specific details about our gardens and for gardens in the rest of the county and those further afield go to

Look out for our county leaflets which will be appearing shortly and for the national books.

  • For queries get in touch with the local area organiser Grainne Jakobson ( – Tel 01946 813017) or the County organiser Diane Hewitt (