Sunshine is the secret to success

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THE recent bad weather did little to dampen the spirits of visitors to the Secret Gardens of Winster event over the weekend.

Revellers turned up in their hundreds to follow the garden trail around the village and initial figures estimate that nearly 3,000 made it along to one of the Dales’ best kept secrets.

Gill Geddes, Chair of the Secret Gradens committee, said: “The whole weekend went really well.

“I think everybody has been so frustrated with the bad weather recently that many jumped at the chance to get outdoors.”

The weekend was not just about exploring the historic streets, alleys and traditional gardens that Winster has to offer, though.

As ever, the weekend provided villagers the opportunity to raise vital funds for Winster.

Gill said: “We’ve not actually counted the money yet, but it looks like we’ve had another good year.

“Our plan is to put some of the money into the village groups and some of it will go towards re-roofing part of the village hall’s out-buildings.”

As well as getting a peek of the usually private gardens, visitors were also entertained with live music, a bake sale, crafts, plant sales and children even got the chance to head on a Gnome Hunt Trail.

However, without a dedicated team of volunteers, events like Secret Gardens of Winster would never go ahead.

Gill said: “The event was a huge success thanks to the hard work of everybody involved.

“I was surprised about how many young people put themselves forward to help run the event.

“We had teenagers and youngsters setting up tables, washing up and generally getting involved with whatever needed doing.”

Pupils at Winster School even got involved with the event and took turns to man some of the stalls.

Secret Gardens of Winster has now been running every summer for 15 years.

Over that time they have raised approximately £75,000 to carry out good work in the village and further afield.