MORE than 20 gardens great and small will be opened up to the public to help raise money for a hospice.

The annual Open Gardens series, which raises money for St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in Durham City, gets under way next week.

The first event takes place at Lanchester Garden Centre, on Bargate bank, on Sunday, May 13.

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Visitors will be able to browse around the plants and enjoy refreshments between 3pm and 6pm, while raising much-needed funds for the charity.

So far, the owners of 21 gardens have agreed to open their gates over the summer months for the event, with venues ranging from Brandon to Blanchland.

Jade Mcardle, community fund raiser at St Cuthbert’s, said: "They are lovely, family friendly events that anyone can get involved in – whether you’re a keen gardener and want to show off your work, or simply want to cook up some al fresco food and enjoy some time in the sun with your family and friends".

To find out about gardens opening in your area or to hold your own event, please visit www.stcuthbertshospice.com or ring 0191 386 1170.