Get some show garden style

A little bit of show garden magic will be coming to the Cotswolds this weekend as leading designer Paul Hervey-Brookes sells plants from his gold medal-winning design at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (pictured top).

Hostas, beautiful blue chicory, Verbena bonariensis, asters, myrtle and some large shrubs that last week were being admired by the Hampton show crowds are among the plants on sale. The Garden of Discovery, for Viking Cruises, won Paul his ninth gold medal, six of them consecutively.

plant sale
Chicory will be on sale

The plant sale is raising money for the Dogs Trust in memory of Paul’s husband, Yann Eshkol, who died a year ago.

“Yann was always very keen on animals and them being cared for and our dogs are all rescue animals,” says Paul, who is based in Stroud.

The Dogs Trust was chosen because Yann died just weeks after last year’s Hampton show where Paul won gold with a dog friendly garden for the animal charity.

plant sale
The 2016 Dogs Trust garden

Slad Valley House in Stroud is hosting the plant sale as part of two National Garden Scheme open days on Saturday and Sunday July 16 and 17.

The one-acre informal garden is set around an 18th house and is gradually being restored by the owners, Debbie and Michael Grey.

plant sale
The garden is being restored

“The garden is interesting because it’s turning what was a mill owner’s house back into a home after being used for a variety of different things over the past 40 years,” says Paul. “It is bringing a garden back to life.”

What was a lawn at the front of the house is now a flower garden, there are mature trees and shrubs.

“It also has some challenging terraces to garden on.”

plant sale
Slad Valley House is hosting the sale

Some of the Hampton Court plants have been added to the garden this week and it also features elements of Paul’s earlier work, namely two sculptures by Andrew Flint that were used on his 2013 Chelsea show garden for Brand Alley.

While some plants were sold in the traditional end of show sell-off at Hampton, many have been brought back to the Cotswolds.

“It seems right to bring them back to where we made our home and where people have been so supportive over the past year,” says Paul, who runs garden and home shop Allomorphic in Stroud. “The whole thing feels right, not as though we’re doing it for the sake of it. It has got a good purpose.”

Slad Valley House, Stroud, GL5 1RJ, is open for the National Garden Scheme from 2-4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday July 16 and 17, 2017. Admission is £3.50. There will be homemade teas for sale.

Sheep, music and plants help charities’ fundraising

Hidden sheep, live music and lovely gardens will be raising money for good causes in the Cotswolds in the next few weeks.

There are several village garden events and the chance to see one of the Cotswold’s beautiful large gardens.

Ozleworth Park

On Sunday June 18, 2017, Ozleworth Park will be the venue for an open day in aid of Stroud district Citizens Advice.

Mixed borders, a rose garden, orchard and water garden are just some of the features of this large and varied garden near Wotton-under-Edge.

ozleworth
Ozleworth water garden

Nailsworth Silver Band and Panache, a steel band, will perform and there will be teas and plants for sale.

The event runs from 2pm-5.30pm and entrance is £5, free to children under 16. No dogs are allowed, except guide dogs.

Prestbury Open Gardens

There will be gardens of all sizes open in Prestbury, Cheltenham, on June 17 and 18, raising money for St Mary’s Church and The Butterfly Garden charity.

ozleworth
One of the Prestbury gardens

The event runs from 2-5pm on both days and includes plant sales, nursery stands and cream teas.

Admission is £5 for adults, accompanied children enter free. You can pick up a passport for the gardens at St Mary’s Church or at any garden with the Prestbury Open Gardens sign.

Chedworth Open Gardens

Chedworth is holding an open gardens and flower festival on June 24 and 25, 2017 from 11-5pm on both days.

As well as around 13 gardens to wander around, there will be cakes, plants and produce for sale, and refreshments. Admission to the gardens is £5 for adults and there will be a shuttle bus from the village hall.

The money raised will go to the Friends of St Andrew’s and other village charities.

Sheepscombe

ozleworth

Youngsters at Sheepscombe School have been making sheep ready for the village’s open gardens trail.

The sheep will be hidden in the 12 gardens taking part in the open day on Sunday July 2, 2017 with a competition to find them.

ozleworth
One of the formal gardens that is open

Among the gardening attractions will be formal borders, cottage-style planting, water features, a Japanese garden and wild flowers.

There will be cream teas available at either end of the two-mile trail and all profits will go to Sheepscombe Primary School.

ozleworth
The Japanese-style garden

“You can take in as many or as few gardens as you like while walking through the surrounding woodland and countryside in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,” says one of the organisers Sachi Hatakenaka.

Combined entrance to the gardens is £6, free entry for children and the Sheep Hunt is £1 a sheet.

Cotswold gardening events

There’s plenty going on in the Cotswolds next month with village gardens open and a display by specialist cacti growers.

Succulents and cacti are enjoying a rise in popularity as houseplants become fashionable again.

There’ll be the chance to see a wide range in Cheltenham when enthusiasts stage their annual cacti and succulents show.

Agave, aloe and euphorbia will be among the wide range on display with classes for individual plants or groups.

The event, held by the Gloucester and district branch of the British Cactus & Succulent Society, is at Shurdington Social Centre, Shurdington, Cheltenham, on June 3, 2017. It runs from 11-4pm and admission is £1.

There will be plants for sale, growing advice and refreshments available. More information on the website

There’s a few chances to combine a day out in the Cotswolds with a bit of garden-visiting.

Gardeners in Bisley are planning to open around 10 plots on Sunday June 4, 2017.

There will be a range of size and styles and entry is £1 a garden, or a combined entry fee of £5.

The event, from 2-6pm, is raising money for Bisley WI Village Hall and there will also be refreshments and live music.

There will be gardens of all sizes open in Prestbury, Cheltenham, on June 17 and 18, raising money for St Mary’s Church and The Butterfly Garden charity.

The event runs from 2-5pm on both days and includes plant sales, nursery stands and cream teas.

Admission is £5 for adults, accompanied children enter free. You can pick up a passport for the gardens at St Mary’s Church or at any garden with the Prestbury Open Gardens sign.

Chedworth is holding an open gardens and flower festival on June 24 and 25, 2017 from 11-5pm on both days.

As well as around 13 gardens to wander around, there will be cakes, plants and produce for sale, and refreshments. Admission to the gardens is £5 for adults and there will be a shuttle bus from the village hall.

The money raised will go to the Friends of St Andrew’s and other village charities.

Plants, history and contest plans

Gardeners in Cheltenham are hosting a plant fair and getting an insight into the history of vegetable growing.

Tomatoes will be among the plants at the fair

Lynda Warren will be talking about her father’s experience and her own research in ‘The Wartime Kitchen Garden’.

The talk is being hosted by Charlton Kings in Bloom, a voluntary group that promotes gardening in the Charlton Kings area of Cheltenham.

Members are also planning a plant fair outside the King’s Hall on May 13 from 9am to noon with vegetables, including tomatoes, annuals and perennials.

And the annual garden competition will take place later in the year.

The talk will be held at the Stanton Rooms, Charlton Kings in Cheltenham on Friday April 28, 2017. It starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £6 to include refreshments. They are available from The Forge newsagent (01242 523729).

For more details about Charlton Kings in Bloom, visit the website.

Alpine show and plant sale

alpine show

Alpines will be on show and on sale at an event in Gloucestershire on Bank Holiday Monday.

Members of the Cotswold and Malvern Alpine Garden Society will be showing their plants at Maisemore Village Hall on April 17, 2017.

Classes include primulas, saxifrages and dwarf conifers and there are contests for photographs, paintings and drawings.

There will also be a chance to buy plants at the event, which runs from noon to 4pm. Admission is £3, free to under-16s and AGS members.

For more details, visit the website

Digging into garden history

The history of gardens and allotments in Gloucestershire will be explored at a day-long series of talks this month.

Gloucestershire Local History Association is hosting its annual Local History Day on Saturday March 18, 2017, with three guest speakers.

Dr Jan Broadway will talk about the history of gardening societies in the county, Dr Jeremy Burchardt, from the University of Reading, will discuss Gloucestershire’s place in the early allotment movement and Michael Brown will present ‘Ghastly Gardening: Horticulture’s Horrible History’.

The event at Churchdown Community Centre, Churchdown, will include displays by Gloucestershire Archives, the County History Trust and the Gloucestershire Gardens & Landscape Trust.

Doors open at 10.30am and the event closes at 4pm. Admission is free and there will be refreshments available for a donation. A full timetable can be found at the association’s website .

The day has been sponsored by The Midcounties Co-operative Community Fund through the Gloucestershire Community Foundation.

Cleve West talks about gardens, health and turnips

Leading designer Cleve West is coming to the Cotswolds next month to talk about the importance of gardening to health. Ahead of his visit, we chatted about designing, turnips and whether
he makes a difference.

It’s a cold, miserable February day and Cleve West is heading for his allotment when I catch up with him. It’s not the most appealing weather to be outside but that doesn’t seem to matter.

“It’s the dullest day you could ever imagine,” he says “and already I could stay down here all day.”

His allotment, he explains, is a place he and his partner, Christine, use as somewhere to escape.

“This is where we unwind. It’s our 17th season coming up and it would be quite a difficult wrench if we suddenly lost this little bit of sanctuary.”

cleve west
Cleve on his 2016 Chelsea garden

Yet, across the country, allotments are being seized for building land, something Cleve deplores.

“We should be protecting allotments,” he says. “They’re part of our heritage and for some people they are their only access to a garden.

“The benefits are incredible, not only for the food, but for the exercise and peace of mind. They are a place to come and relax.”

It’s these health benefits – both physical and mental – that have made him appreciate the importance of gardens and his role in creating them.

“I always wondered what use we are as garden designers and I came to the conclusion that we weren’t too much use,” he admits. “But reflecting back on some of the gardens I’ve done and then doing Horatio’s Garden, suddenly the penny dropped.”

Cleve was responsible for designing the first of the Horatio’s Gardens, set up in memory of sixth former Horatio Chapple, who was killed by a polar bear on the Norwegian island of Svalbard.

Set in the grounds of spinal injuries, they aim to help the recovery of patients by allowing them access to the natural world.

cleve west
The first Horatio’s Garden at Salisbury

Cleve’s garden is at Salisbury Hospital, a place he knew well as his best friend had been a patient there. Another garden has since been built at Glasgow, designed by James Alexander-Sinclair, and fundraising is taking place to build a third, designed by Joe Swift, at Stoke Mandeville.

It was the reaction of patients to Cleve’s garden that made him “rethink” his work.

“Some [patients] just burst into tears because they had been locked indoors without a place to go for several months.

“To get that opportunity just to go outside and feel fresh air, sunshine, rain, snow, whatever and connect with nature again. It’s such a simple thing but we all just take it for granted.

At first, he planned to fill the garden with low maintenance shrubs to keep down costs for the charity – “people don’t really appreciate the fact that it is all very well doing these gardens but they need looking after,” he observes.

But it was soon decided that perennial planting that gave a sense of the changing seasons would be far more stimulating for patients. A strong volunteer network and regular fundraising help to fund the head gardener and new plants.

It’s experiences like this that will underpin Cleve’s talk at the Gardens Illustrated Festival at Westonbirt School in March.

“It really is going to be very personal,” he says. “It’s based on my observations and experiences.”

He will cover all types of gardens from those based on healing plants to what he describes as “a more spiritual level” where a garden can help with emotional trauma such as grief.

Cleve also believes gardening is important to the wider issue of biodiversity and protecting the environment, something that he feels passionately about.

If the realisation that he does make a difference came slowly, then so did his love of gardening.

cleve west
‘Tree Spirit’ by Simon Gudgeon in Salisbury’s Horatio’s Garden

He was introduced to growing by a great aunt who lived in Chiswick, London.

“I used to go to see her and potter around the garden with her,” he recalls. “Then she got too old to do it and I took over.

“Slowly but surely I got bitten by the bug.”

A garden maintenance round in his early twenties, followed later by a design course with John Brookes at Kew, paid for with a legacy from his aunt, started a career that today sees him working both with private clients and designing award-winning show gardens.

Both have their stresses. While he designs with reference to the house and surrounding landscape, compromise is sometimes necessary with a client who has fixed views.

“It’s not always an easy job,” he admits. “That’s why I quite like show gardens. Stressful as they are, it’s the only chance you ever get to do something exactly the way you want it.”

Even so, he’s glad to have a year off from Chelsea and the other RHS shows giving him the chance to concentrate on his private work and beloved allotment.

It will be, he says, a “catch-up year”, a chance to reclaim areas where weeds are out of hand – probably by planting lots of potatoes and squash – and with time to grow a full range of fruit and some flowers.

cleve west
Tomatoes are one of Cleve’s main crops

Which brings us to turnips. Dinner with friends recently converted Cleve to their taste and he’s growing them for the first time this year.

His main ambition though is to build a polytunnel for his favourite crop, tomatoes. An oak is now casting shade over the greenhouse and an alternative is needed.

“It’s going to be a tomato tunnel,” he says. “Fresh, hand-picked organic tomatoes – lovely.”

It’s a sentiment that’s hard to argue with and as strong an argument for the importance of gardens as any.

Cleve West is one of the speakers at the Gardens Illustrated Festival on 25-26 March 2017 at Westonbirt School, Tetbury. For more information see website

There are three Horatio’s Gardens or more information about Horatio’s Garden see here

Cotswold gardening talks 2017

Gardening experts are heading to the Cotswolds this year offering advice on everything from early spring bulbs to the meaning of flowers.

Want to know how to build a pond and plant a bog garden, or perhaps pruning trees is a puzzle. Workshops, lectures and a garden festival will give gardeners ample opportunity to pick up tips and advice.

Here’s a round-up of the gardening talks on offer.

Allomorphic

Stroud-based home and garden shop Allomorphic is also the setting for a series of day courses and lectures with lunch.

Award-winning designer and RHS judge Paul Hervey-Brookes will be sharing his design expertise in three courses covering planting for winter, gardening in a small space and the basics of creating a show garden.

Cotswold talks
Paul Hervey-Brookes on his gold medal garden at Hampton Court

Other courses include how to make beautiful hand ties, summer door wreaths or arrangements to suit every celebration.

The ‘Queen of Herbs’, Jekka McVicar will be sharing her knowledge of plants medicinal and culinary while container planting expert Harriet Rycroft will explain how to have pots that look good all year-round.

Dates, details and prices here.

Gardens Illustrated Festival

The magazine’s second festival at Westonbirt School has a line-up of some of the gardening world’s best-known faces.

Designers Cleve West, Tom Stuart-Smith and Arne Maynard are among those who will be looking for paradise, exploring the health benefits of gardens and the use of beautifully crafted materials in gardens, while Sarah Raven will be showing how to combine colour in borders.

cotswold talks
Westonbirt School hosts the Gardens Illustrated festival

The roses of Sissinghurst, how to be a green gardener, and the canals and water gardens of Birmingham are just some of the subjects that will also be explored during the two-day festival.

The event on March 25-26 also has tours of the garden and a plant and design clinic alongside the gardening talks.

For details, see here

Highgrove

The Prince of Wales’ garden is hosting a lecture and lunch with Shane Connolly, floral arranger for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding.

cotswold talks
Highgrove is the setting for talks and workshops

He will show how to create arrangements that convey particular sentiments while explaining the historic symbolism of flowers.

The garden at Tetbury also has courses with Caroline Tatham and Kate Durr of the Cotswold Gardening School on planning and planting borders, container gardening and garden design.

cotswold talks
Caroline Tatham of The Cotswold Gardening School

For more details, see here

The Generous Gardener

The Generous Gardener near Cirencester is launching a new series of evening lectures alongside the usual daytime gardening talks.

Among those speaking at the evening events at The Coach House Garden are Bob Brown, of Cotswold Garden Flowers, with advice on new garden-worthy plants and Helen Picton talking about growing asters.

The lecture days, now in their fifth season, include two speakers and lunch. Among the double acts are Alan Street from Avon Bulbs talking about early spring treasures and Tony Kirkham, head of Kew’s arboretum, giving advice on everything to do with trees.

Cotswold talks
A series of lectures are being held at The Coach House

Leading designers Julian and Isobel Bannerman will take you through the making of their gardens while Derry Watkins, of Special Plants nursery, will tempt you to grow plants that are borderline hardy.

Designer Rupert Golby shows how to bring the garden indoors and writer and plantsman Stephen Lacey will suggest plants to introduce scent.

Bog gardens, ponds and how to create and plant them is explained by Timothy Walker, former director of Oxford Botanic Garden, while Telegraph columnist Helen Yemm will be choosing plants for a stunning summer show.

Plantsman Roy Lancaster shares his lifelong passion for plants and Helen Dillon will give an insight into the making of her famous garden in Ireland.

For dates, prices and more details see here

Cotswold Talks
Bob Brown is one of the speakers

Cheltenham Horticultural Society

Renowned plantsman Nick Macer, of Pan-Global Plants, will be the speaker at a special anniversary lecture in Cheltenham in October.

‘Things that turn me on – confessions of a plant freak’ is being organised by Cheltenham Horticultural Society as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations.

Nick, who is also on the BBC Gardeners’ World presenting team, will be talking at Balcarras School in Charlton Kings.

Tickets will be on sale later in the year. For details, see here

• Enjoyed this? Do leave me a comment and share this post via Twitter, Facebook or email. 

Tempted by Rare Plant Fairs

The 2017 dates for the Rare Plant Fairs have just been announced with new nurseries and a second Gloucestershire venue. I’ve been finding out what goes on behind the scenes.

Like most gardeners, I can’t resist a plant sale. Be it a flower show, fundraising community event or merely a table at the end of someone’s drive, I find it impossible to go past without taking a look. So, Rare Plant Fairs with their selection of specialist nurseries are particularly tempting.

rare plant fairs
Rare Plant Fairs are a great way to stock up

Unlike the big shows, there’s no limit on visitor numbers, high entry prices or miles to walk back to your car with purchases. As for shopping online, buying direct from the nursery with the chance to discuss growing needs and suitability for your plot is much better.

And the fairs are invaluable for smaller nurseries, who can’t afford the big shows or don’t have time to open the nursery.

“They are often one or two person bands and it’s a balance between growing plants and selling them,” explains Ian Moss, who runs the Rare Plant Fairs with his wife, Teresa.

“The fairs really do offer the opportunity for these smaller and very good nurseries to get out and put their wares in front of the gardening public.”

rare plant fairs
The Old Rectory in Quenington is a regular venue

The idea of Rare Plant Fairs started in the early 1990s with events organised by Derry Watkins, of Special Plants nursery in Wiltshire. She ran them for several years before handing the organisation on.

By the mid-2000s the events were floundering and it was then that the nurseries took over running them, with Gloucestershire grower Victoria Logue of Whitehall Farmhouse Plants one of the first to be involved.

The idea behind today’s events is simple: gather a group of diverse nurseries and let them set up shop in a good garden; entry to the fair includes admission to the garden.

“We try to price the event to be at or slightly below the normal cost to visit that garden,” says Ian.

The money raised is divided between the Rare Plant Fairs to cover admin costs and the garden owner. Some use it to help with running costs, others donate it to charity.

rare plant fairs
Highnam Court is a new venue for 2017

This year, a second Gloucestershire date has been added to the calendar. As well as the long-running April event at riverside plot The Old Rectory in Quenington, there is a July event at the 40-acre Highnam Court, near Gloucester. Both will be run in aid of Cobalt Health, a Cheltenham-based charity that provides MRI scanning for dementia and cancer.

Another new venue that is likely to prove popular is Hanham Court, near Bristol, which will be hosting a fair in June. Once the home of designers Isabel and Julian Bannerman, whose many projects include the stumpery at Highgrove, it is now under new ownership and is a classic English garden (pictured top) full of roses and lilies.

The new fair at the Walled Garden, at Cannington, Somerset, in July offers the chance to see a wide range of unusual plants, including a collection of cacti.

“It’s got quite a mild climate for the area so they get away with some slightly more ambitious planting than you would normally expect in Somerset.”

In addition, 2017 sees a second event at the popular Bishop’s Palace in Wells, Somerset. As well as the regular March date, there will be a fair in August when the herbaceous borders are at their best.

Rare plant fairs
The Bishop’s Palace will host two fairs

It also gives Ian and Teresa the chance to showcase some different nurseries: a hellebore specialist will be there in the spring; a salvia grower is booked for the August date.

Organising the fairs is a job that starts before the previous season ends, with the couple visiting possible new venues to check their suitability – parking can be a deciding factor – and checking that existing gardens wish to continue.

Applications for a coveted nursery slot open in October and close a month later. Then comes the task of matching requests to events, making sure everyone gets their share while maintaining a good variety at each fair. There’s also the need to recognise the loyalty of nurseries that have supported the fairs for years while encouraging newcomers.

rare plant fairs
Nursery displays are simply plants on tables

For 2017, there are around 250 ‘spaces’ across all the fairs and around 350 requests were received.

Nurseries come from all over the country, including Cornwall, Essex, Leicestershire and Wales and typically there will be around 15 at each fair; the largest at Kingston Bagpuize in Oxfordshire in May has 30 stalls. Many nurseries offer a wide range of plants, such as herbaceous perennials, others are more specialised: orchids, shrubs or alpines. All are ‘vetted’ to ensure they are growers rather than merely retailing plants brought in from elsewhere.

This season, new nurseries include hellebore specialist Kapunda Plants, Gardener’s Delight, from North Devon selling mixed herbaceous and Hertfordshire-based Daisy Roots with hardy perennials and grasses. Fibrex Nurseries, near Evesham, also return with pelargoniums, ferns and ivies after a gap of some years.

rare plant fairs

Once the details are finalised, the publicity drive starts with 45,000 copies of the events guide printed and the newsletter emailed out.

The fairs are popular, not only with nurseries but also with gardeners; many prefer the ‘down-to-earth’ atmosphere with nursery stands merely a trestle table loaded with plants rather than the complex displays seen at the big shows.

Last year, thanks to rain-free days, the events had their best season ever with an average of 550 visitors per fair.

And they are friendly events with the growers themselves often buying from each other before the fair opens. It seems that, like me, they can’t resist a plant sale.

For more details of venues and dates see Rare Plant Fairs

• Enjoyed this? Do leave me a comment and share this post via Twitter, Facebook or email. 

Westonbirt creates an Enchanted Christmas

Walking through a wood at night isn’t an obvious crowd-pleaser but the Enchanted Christmas light show at Westonbirt is different. In fact, it’s become so popular this year sees advanced booking only and timed tickets.

The annual display is now in its 20th year and for many families seeing hundreds of lights transforming the National Arboretum is a traditional start to their Christmas.

Last year, more than 35,000 people visited the 12-day event, which runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from the end of November until just before Christmas.

It’s the increasingly popularity that has led to the change in ticketing, explains arboretum spokeswoman Emily Pryor.

enchanted christmas
Coloured lights highlight the trees

“We’re striving always to improve the quality of visitors’ experience. We want it to be the best we can give.”

As a result, there will no longer be the option to pay at the gate and all tickets to the route will be issued in one-hour time slots, although people can enter the arboretum any time after 5pm to visit the restaurant and shop.

And Emily stresses that once on the illuminated trail there is no pressure to get around in a given time.

“Visitors can take as long as they need,” she says.

As well as new arrangements for tickets, the display in the Enchanted Christmas has also seen some changes with a complete overhaul of the equipment used to ensure an even brighter and more dazzling show.

enchanted forest
The lights create a magical world

This includes a more powerful machine to pump bubbles out into one part of the trail where they will be picked out by UV lights.

“It looks quite amazing in the dark,” says Emily.

Meanwhile, an ‘elf village’ for Santa’s helpers will have tiny houses lit up among the trees, while Father Christmas – dressed in the original, traditional green – will be taking Christmas requests and Mrs Christmas will be telling stories.

Although the one-mile trail follows a different route through the Old Arboretum each year, the concept remains the same. Lights in every shade from red, blue and white to green, purple and orange transform Westonbirt’s trees, picking out twisted limbs, fissures in bark or the graceful shape of weeping specimens.

Enchanted christmas
The Enchanted Christmas is a popular annual event

Some trees are lit with a steady spotlight, others are part of an ever-changing display as lights go on and off with timers.

Among the most popular elements are those that involve audience participation. The ‘singing tree’ has lights that are sound sensitive and visitors are encouraged to sing or shout to illuminate it. Elsewhere, a sequence of lights is triggered by visitors beating on drums.

And there is the chance to light up the Enchanted Christmas with pedal power by riding on a bicycle.

“It’s a huge hit with kids.”

There’s even a touch of disco with a huge mirror ball that reflects back onto the trees.

The Enchanted Christmas opens on Friday November 25 and runs on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Sunday December 18th.

The trail is pushchair and wheelchair friendly. Stout shoes, warm clothing and a torch are recommended.

For more details and booking information, visit Westonbirt

• Enjoyed this? Do leave me a comment and share this post via Twitter, Facebook or email.