Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s 2023 Open Gardens programme welcomed more than 2,000 visitors and helped raise £24,694.97 in its 12th year, despite some challenging weather conditions.

The programme showcases some of the county’s best wildlife-friendly gardens to members of the public. 

With a common theme of providing a home for wildlife, the venues range from vast wildflower meadows to ancient woodlands and all offer exciting and innovative approaches to wildlife gardening. 

Marte Martin-Upton, community fundraising and events manager at Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: “This season’s theme seemed to be ‘tackling the elements’ and we had a very wet start at Lower Penbothidnow, a scorching hot middle at Lethytep, and a particularly memorable end of the season at Pedn Billy, where we fought off the thunder, lightning, and torrential rain just in time for opening.”

The 2023 Open Gardens season saw many supporters’ favourites opening their gates once again, giving visitors the chance to see any changes made to glorious private gardens across Cornwall: Trenarth, 2 Trenance Cottages, Lethytep, Bolts Quarry Farm, Goenrounsen House, South Bosent, and Pedn Billy. Some of these gardens open only once a year, exclusively for Cornwall Wildlife Trust. 

There was also the opportunity to visit three new gardens like Lower Penbothidnow, Duloe Manor, and Lavethan, where guests were treated to a special outdoor performance by a world-class string quartet. An additional garden at Woody Hollow, St Minver, was open by appointment only.

Over the last 12 years, the Open Gardens programme has raised more than £175,000 for the wildlife charity. This has been possible thanks to the support of volunteers, garden owners, and the thousands of people who have spent their Sundays attending the events.

Marte added: “This programme couldn’t run without the efforts of a wonderful team of volunteers. We would like to say a massive thank you to them for their continuous hard work and dedication to Cornwall Wildlife Trust. 

“We’re also extremely grateful to the owners for opening their beautiful gardens, which usually wouldn’t be accessible otherwise, and to those of you who attend these events.

“Thank you to The Garker Street Band for their performances and, of course, to our sponsors Cornico, Roddas and Daymer Bay Drinks for their generosity in supporting the scheme.”

Rebecca David, volunteer coordinator of the programme, said: “It has been another amazing, enjoyable Open Gardens season. The volunteers have once again been brilliant and so willing to do whatever is needed. 

“It wouldn’t happen without the garden owners’ generosity in allowing us to take over their gardens, so a big thank you to them.”

Cornwall Wildlife Trust works to create a Cornwall where nature thrives and all funds raised from these events will help towards attaining this goal. 

The funds raised have helped protect and procure over 5,500 acres of land managed for nature recovery, creating bigger, better and more joined up wildlife habitats that benefit both nature and people. This includes the charity’s latest bold plans to rewild Helman Tor.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust wants to build on the success of the past 12 years and is now looking for additional gardens and volunteers for 2024. For more information visit Cornwall www.cornwallwildlife

Cornwall Wildlife Trust are also looking for new sponsors including a headline sponsor for next year’s event. Any businesses interested should contact [email protected]