Moreton Hall residents invite visitors into their gardens

Lucy Newell and Jess Darnell from The Coffee House and Ian Jessop from Bill and Ben Nursery

Lucy Newell and Jess Darnell from The Coffee House and Ian Jessop from Bill and Ben Nursery

A fund-raiser that allows people to take a peep into their neighbours’ gardens has been hailed a ‘huge success’.

On Sunday, 25 gardens opened to the public as part of the second Open Gardens of Moreton Hall, with some receiving as many as 40-60 visitors, despite the rain, compared to just seven last year.

Many were welcomed with teas and coffees or, in some cases, freshly baked cakes, even samosas, while some gardens also raised extra funds through tombolas, quizzes and, at one home, a duck hunt.

Money is still coming in but already the event has raised around £2,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care, in Bury St Edmunds.

Jessica Darnell, joint owner of The Coffee House in Lawson Place, which organises the event as part of its involvement in the hospice’s Towergate Accumulator Challenge, said: “Despite the rain, everyone came out to join in. It was a great day, with lots of fun had by all.

“A lot of people said it was actually more comfortable walking around compared to last year, which was absolutely roasting, and it was fun with all the brollies and wellies.”

“We’d like to say a massive thank you to the people who opened their gardens and were brave enough to take part,” said Mrs Darnell, adding that the event would continue even after the Accumulator ends this year.

“There’s a great community spirit, with more and more people getting involved, so it would be a shame not to do it again,” she said.

The challenge sees businesses from across West Suffolk and Thetford compete to turn £50 into as much money for the hospice as possible. Last year, The Coffee House was named overall winner after raising £2,800.

Abby Mayes, hospice corporate fund-raiser, said: “We’re really grateful to The Coffee House for holding such a lovely event, which enabled the whole community to come together as well as raising much-needed funds for the hospice.”

“The Accumulator Challenge has only just been launched, so they’ve certainly set the bar high for all the other businesses taking part,” she added.




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