Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

National Garden Scheme to donate over £1m this year despite gardens closure

National Garden Scheme to donate over £1m this year despite gardens closure

The National Garden Scheme is committing in excess of £1 million to its beneficiary charities and to 44 community garden projects throughout England and Wales this year, despite the coronavirus outbreak meaning the closure of gardens.

This includes new Community Gardens Award of £97,210, which is being distributed to 44 community gardening projects across England and Wales in memory of garden writer Elspeth Thompson. £165,000 of the total donation will also go to granting bursaries to support gardeners in a variety of training or apprentice schemes, or who find themselves in hard times.

Its long-term charity beneficiaries include Hospice UK and Marie Curie.

George Plumptre, CEO of the National Garden Scheme said:

“The current climate of uncertainty and the loss for the foreseeable future of garden openings which provide 90% of our income, compounded by a poor start to the season with storms affecting many of the stunning snowdrop gardens, means that the National Garden Scheme has been unable to distribute as much as it would have liked to our beneficiary charities.

“However, we are still donating in excess of £1 million to the majority of our nursing and health beneficiaries this spring and are delighted to be able to announce the tripling of funds to community gardens that make such a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of so many.”

Over £58 million in total has been donated during the Scheme’s 93-year history.

Over 800 new and returning gardens were due to open under the National Garden Scheme during 2020. One of the most distinguished gardens that planned to return, after 40 years, was Rousham in Oxfordshire where the ornamental 18th-century landscape overlooking the River Cherwell was designed by William Kent. There are also walled gardens with herbaceous borders a pigeon house and kitchen garden, and the park is home to a herd of Old English Longhorn cattle. With the gardens closed at least until June, the National Garden Scheme is encouraging people to donate via its site if possible.

This year, the Year of the Tree, also sees the National Garden Scheme partnering with the Woodland Trust, to promote a wider understanding and appreciation of trees within both a wild and domestic garden setting. It will be showing the importance of trees, sharing the gardens in its portfolio that hold national collections or are home to historic or special trees and looking at their role in carbon capture and climate resilience.


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.
" />