‘Hidden’ gardens to open at Ellesmere

For anyone who has ever looked across The Mere from Ellesmere’s promenade and wondered what sits on the other side, the answer will be revealed at Oteley Estate’s Open Day on Sunday, May 9.

Visitors will be able to explore 10 acres of gardens running down to The Mere, including a walled kitchen garden, a boathouse, a wild woodland walk and views across Mere to Ellesmere.

The private estate is run by Robert, Ian and Clare Mainwaring who rear cattle and sheep on their 2,000-acre farm. The estate has remained in the same family since the 1500s and has undergone a few reincarnations in that time, from being a lavish country house to a wartime hospital camp. One of the most notable ancestors was Sir Francis Kynaston, who was acquainted with both James I and Charles I. The historic estate is now home to two stunning herds of native breeds of British cattle – Beef Shorthorn and Highland, and a small flock of sheep.

The garden open day is part of the National Garden Scheme, which has raised over £60million for charity since 1927. Clare said, “With the garden bursting into life and restrictions now easing, it feels like the perfect time to have an Open Day and welcome visitors back into the garden. We are selling tickets for the event to limit numbers due to Covid restrictions and to raise money for charity.

“We have opened the garden most years since 1927 when the National Garden Scheme began – ours was one of the original gardens on the scheme. Our last garden open day, despite Covid restrictions, managed to raise over £3,000 from one day so we’re hopeful of raising lots of money for charity again this year. We hope our open day is a lovely day out in the fresh air for all!”

The gardens will be open from 1pm until 5pm, with two sessions available to book via the National Garden Scheme website at ngs.org.uk/view-garden/254. Tickets cost £5 per person, with children free.

CAPTION: The Oteley Estate has many attractive features.


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