A RETIREMENT village is welcoming visitors back to look around its award-winning grounds to help raise funds for charity.

Middleton Hall retirement village in Middleton St George near Darlington is opening its gardens on Saturday, July 24 as part of this year’s National Garden Scheme (NGS).

An initiative which raises money for nursing and health charities, the NGS works to give unique access to exceptional private gardens in England and Wales that are not normally open to the public.

This is only the second time Middleton Hall has taken part in the scheme and, after last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic, the retirement village’s Estates Team Supervisor, Ben Henderson, said that being able to let people enjoy the grounds would be extra special this year.

The Northern Echo:

He said: “More than ever, the true value of nature is being appreciated the world over, and all of us lucky enough to have gardens and green spaces to enjoy throughout the pandemic have had a real lifeline in them.

“Whether utilised for exercise, recreation, sports, dining, visiting loved ones or even meditating, our outdoor spaces have been invaluable to us all.

"The mental and physical health benefits of time spent outdoors aren't just well studied and documented; they are plain to see.

“Here at Middleton Hall, we provide residents and their families with an environment where they can interact with nature at their own pace.

The Northern Echo:

"From tranquil Japanese themes to English country garden or secluded woodland vistas to busy sports fields, there really is something for everyone.

“We are truly privileged to be able to open our grounds through the NGS scheme and look forward to sharing them with you.

“Guests can expect guided tours around the grounds, some insights into life here at Middleton Hall and even a few surprises.”

Christine Wright, a retired botanist who lives in one of the independent living retirement apartments in Middleton Woods, said that the Middleton Hall estate is a wonderful benefit for residents.

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Mrs Wright, who will be one of the volunteers offering guided tours on the day, said: “Living at Middleton Hall with its spacious grounds - including gardens, woodland with mature trees and fields - brings a sense of calm and peace, as well as ongoing interest in the changes that nature and humans create.”

Middleton Hall Retirement Village’s grounds are open as part of the National Garden Scheme on Saturday, July 24, 10am until 4pm.

Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for children and must be booked in advance.

All proceeds go to charity.

It is recommended that visitors take a lateral flow test before attending.

For further information and to buy tickets visit https://ngs.org.uk/view-garden/36499

Middleton Hall Retirement Village is an employee-owned business.

It became the first retirement village in the UK to transfer ownership of the business to its staff in March 2019.

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