Things to do on the May Bank Holiday weekend: Essex gardens are open

Grove Lodge, Saffron Walden is taking part in the National Garden Scheme

Grove Lodge, Saffron Walden is taking part in the National Garden Scheme - Credit: supplied

Essex households are opening their gardens to visitors for selected dates in May as part of the National Garden Scheme.

The cottage garden at Chestnut Cottage, in the heart of Clavering, will be open on Sunday, May 2 between 2pm and 5pm. However, the ‘Little House’ will not be open to visitors this year.

Chestnut Cottage, Clavering is taking part in the National Garden Scheme in Essex

Chestnut Cottage, Clavering will be open as part of the National Garden Scheme - Credit: National Garden Scheme Essex

Wickets in Langley Upper Green, Saffron Walden, is taking part in the National Garden Scheme

Wickets in Langley Upper Green, Saffron Walden, is taking part in the National Garden Scheme - Credit: National Garden Scheme Essex

Also open on Sunday, May 2 between 2pm and 5pm is Wickets in Langley Upper Green, a three-acre garden with softly coloured bulbs flowering against a backdrop of trees and shrubs full of spring blossom.

Grove Lodge, Saffron Walden is taking part in the National Garden Scheme

Grove Lodge, Saffron Walden is taking part in the National Garden Scheme - Credit: supplied

The garden at Grove Lodge at Chater’s Hill, Saffron Walden, is open on Monday, May 3 between 2pm and 5pm.

The half acre walled garden dating back to Victorian times is within a building conservation area and is about 10 minutes walk from the town centre.


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It has unusually high biodiversity - 16 species of butterfly and 55 species of birds have been recorded, with more wildlife awaiting identification. Bee orchids again appeared in 2021 and badgers were recorded last year.

Grove Lodge, Saffron Walden is taking part in the National Garden Scheme

Grove Lodge in Saffron Walden is taking part in the National Garden Scheme - Credit: Supplied

After the Bank Holiday weekend, the garden at the Old Vicarage in Broxted is open on Sunday, May 9 from 1pm to 5pm.

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It has three acres of formal gardens along with one acre of woodland and a seven-acre meadow with wild flowers and an abundance of native wildlife.

Essex county organiser Susan Copeland said: “I was delighted that our gardens registered to open in 2021 in almost their usual numbers and that we have so many new gardens.

"I do hope that our regular visitors and many new ones too will support us while we gradually get back to a more recognisable way of opening, while following Government guidelines."

The Essex gardens open for charity booklet for 2021 is being distributed to Tourist Information Centres, libraries and garden centres.

It is also online at https://www.paperturn-view.com/?pid=MTQ143117&v=1.4&p=3

All garden openings are subject to the coronavirus restrictions. Tickets are required and pre-booking of timed entry slots will be in place.

Check and book online before travelling at www.ngs.org.uk

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