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National Trust Opens 221st Garden

The National Trust opens its latest acquisition, Crook Hall Gardens in Durham, today. This is the Trust’s first new garden offer in three years and brings the total of gardens and parklands around the country in the Trust’s care to 221.

Taken on by the National Trust in March this year from its previous owners, the Grade I listed medieval hall and ten-acre gardens will be reopening for the first time since July 2020, when the pandemic forced this much-loved central Durham attraction to close its doors. Interlinked gardens, each with its own character, include blooming borders, secluded walled gardens, an orchard and a tranquil moat pool, along with a maze.

Mike Innerdale, regional director for the National Trust in the North, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people back to Crook Hall Gardens. It’s such a historically important and locally cherished place, which the National Trust is delighted to have taken into our care on behalf of the nation. The hall, cafe and beautiful gardens have been closed to the public for nearly two years and with the forecast looking fantastic for our first week of opening, it’s going to be wonderful seeing people back in this little corner of Durham again, this week.”

An oasis of nature in the heart of the city of Durham, Crook Hall Gardens will play an important role in the National Trust’s ambition to improve unequal access to green spaces for people living in urban areas. The National Trust is intending to create 20 green corridors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2030 to help bring the benefits of the outdoors, such as improved physical and mental wellbeing, to more people. Crook Hall Gardens is set to be the gateway to County Durham’s green corridor which will link central Durham with the countryside on its fringes.

Speaking more about future plans for the site, Mike continued: “Crook Hall Gardens brings a wonderful opportunity for the National Trust here in Durham. So close to the city centre, we look forward to playing our part in bringing visitors to this globally renowned city and the surrounding area. In the last few months since taking ownership, we’ve already begun developing a longer-term project with partners that will help to improve access to this green space stretching from Crook Hall, creating a nature-rich green corridor into the countryside.”

Crook Hall Gardens will be open daily, 10am – 4pm until 30 October. The site will be open during the winter, with opening times set to be confirmed later in the year. There will also be a programme of events starting with a summer of sport – games and activities for families, as well as craft activities during the school holidays.

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This story was published on: 15/07/2022

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