It has been announced today that a collection of Northumberland’s most stunning secrets is being revealed for one day only on July 1 in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance.
Six gardens in The College Valley, usually hidden away from the public, is welcoming visitors into the wild and beautiful landscape of the most northern part of Northumberland in this one day event that aims to raise money for one of their vital services . The remote valley is located seven miles from Wooler, near the village of Kirknewton, and runs to the top of the Cheviots which means the services of the air ambulance is crucial in keeping people safe in the area and two rescues were made from the College Valley last year alone.
Across the 12,000 acres, which are all within Northumberland National Park and include the Cheviot massif which is the highest hill in the North of England, live 13 households and six of these will be opening their gardens on the day.
The three gardens at Hethpool are distinctively different and include an ancient ruined pele tower and a walled garden featuring espaliered apple trees, roses, lawns, herbaceous borders, shrubs and a lake originally dug to provide electricity for the house.
At the top of the valley, rising to 1000ft, lies Mounthooley, Fleehope and Goldscleugh all which have beautiful flower beds. There is also an orchard, a pond, stunning raised vegetable beds and a summerhouse made from reclaimed materials. A family seek and find treasure hunt will form part of this unique day out.
Fiona Elliot who has initiated this fundraising event gives us some further background: “The valley is home to a great variety of wildlife, particularly the rarely sighted red squirrel, feral goats, roe deer and adders. The Collingwood Oaks also form part of the rugged landscape where, in 1813, Admiral Collingwood’s wife, so it is said, planted a tree for every ship that fought at the battle of Trafalgar and is still an impressive sight today.”
The gardens open from 12pm until 5pm on July 1. Admission is £4.00 for adults and children under 12 go free, all in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance. There is disabled access but it is limited and for those wishing to walk up the valley a car park is available just beyond Hethpool.
It is approximately 5 miles from the start of the valley to the top. Maps will be provided for visitors to find their way by walking, driving or cycling and tea, produce and plants will be available in the valley’s Cuddystone Hall.
These attractive gardens and the spectacular views of rural Northumberland countryside make this both a unique opportunity for garden lovers to and an opportunity definitely not to be missed.
Directions to the valley can be found on www.college-valley.co.uk.
Each mission costs £2,500 and it costs on average £4 million per year making this cause very worthwhile.