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Little Hadham Open Gardens: Fundraising event promises visitors interesting talks and spectacular views as residents open their gardens for a Sunday





A garden created among tombstones, another where ancient artefacts have been unearthed and a third with spectacular views across countryside promise to delight visitors to Little Hadham's Open Gardens event.

Organised by the village hall committee as part of a long-term fundraising project to refurbish the community building, the open day on Sunday June 18, from 10.30am to 4pm, will feature 11 homes opening their gates to visitors.

Stretching from the old A120 crossroads, along The Ford to the Ash Valley at the other end of the village, visitors can park at the village hall in the centre, collect their maps and enjoy a plant sale and refreshments including bacon sandwiches and cakes before setting off on the tour.

David Willett, who sits on the village hall committee, said that this was the first time they had held an open gardens event – and the Indie's Nature Notes columnist Jono Forgham is one of those opening up his home.

"We have Jono, who’ll be giving a talk about moths and butterflies in his garden, and a lady who lives by the traffic lights who’ll be talking about bees and has a couple of hives,” said David.

“There's a converted chapel in Chapel Lane, where the owner will be explaining how he intends to create his garden among the tombstones, nice houses on Ford Hill, by the war memorial, that have lovely gardens on a slope, and another that found historical artefacts and with great views over the River Ash and golf course.

"There are about five that are really interesting and the rest are just very nice gardens, so I think it will keep people entertained for a few hours – there's certainly a lot to interest people."

Work has begun to upgrade the village hall, which hosts art clubs, a new mums group, craft fairs, the long-running Little Hadham Pantomine and much more.

Volunteers have painted it inside and out, a new kitchen has been installed – thanks to grant funding – and "various other bits and pieces" have been completed.

David said the main focus now was to raise enough money for a new roof and floor. "Both will be very expensive, but that's what we’re working towards. In the more short term, we have things like improving the toilets, and we had a new boiler fitted.

"We hold fundraising events every year such as quiz nights, craft fairs and discos. The committee chair has attracted new groups to the hall as well, such as the Mums Meet group on a Monday morning. That seems to attract around 20-25 young mums and everything that goes on here is bookable, so that generates money as well.

"It’s an on-going programme of work that will continue for years to come and we have regular meetings to keep the ball rolling."



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