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Wilmslow Wells for Africa open garden scheme raises thousands of pounds for charity

PUBLISHED: 18:51 02 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:00 20 February 2013

Wilmslow Wells for Africa open garden scheme raises thousands of pounds for charity

Wilmslow Wells for Africa open garden scheme raises thousands of pounds for charity

People in lands far distant from Wilmslow, Styal, Handforth and Alderley Edge, benefit from an open day featuring delightful gardens in this lovely corner of Cheshire. Words by Charles Henn Photography by Bernard Spilsbury

Despite three heavy downpours during the 5 hours of the Wilmslow
Wells for Africa open day, the charitys major fundraising day of the year raised more than 10,000.


The record result, in WWFAs 20th year of operation, included an anonymous donation of 2,000, which came in the wake of an identical sum precisely 12 months earlier.

The charitys planners were quickly working to allocate the new windfall to
fresh projects which will bring fresh water to arid regions of Africa where rain is a rarity.


Helen Battilana, chairman of the volunteer-staffed charity, where 99 per
cent of funds raised is directed to purchasing, installing and maintaining
equipment, said she believed that the unexpected gift was an acknowledgment of all the work that has gone into organising the special day.


The trustees will be able to support many more projects providing clean water to very needy areas of African countries.


The open day featured 20 gardens in Alderley Edge, Handforth, Styal and
Wilmslow; many gardeners said that their schedule, aiming to bring their plots to peak perfection at the end of June, had been disrupted by the wet weather which had affected the growth of many flowers and plants.

The gardens ranged in size, from one of over three acres, to the compact garden demonstrating the skilful design of planning much into little without the result seeming crowded.

On the A34 at Alderley, a few hundred yards uphill on the Congleton Road, is the home of Nick and Julia Clayton. There, alongside the normal attraction of mature trees shading unusual plants amid profusions of clematis and climbing roses, was a fresh eye-pullerNicks 129-yearold
penny-farthing bicycle.

Thirty years ago, Nick rode the machine from Lands End to John OGroats in 12 days but concedes that my knees are no longer up to it. Parents who stood gazing dreamily out across the Cheshire Plain were alerted suddenly by their children eager to observe the scene from the cycle
saddle.

Another form of transport, model railways, has permanently taken over the garden of Richard Weston and Bethan Phillips in The Circuit, Wilmslow. They had arranged a special evening performance by various trains, lit for night operation, which started several hours after the other open gardens had been closed to the public. One couple we are
keen enthusiasts drove from their Bournemouth home especially for the event, stayed with friends then travelled home the following morning.


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