Gardens, walks and art at Ringstead

The attractive garden at Apple Tree Cottage in Ringstead
The attractive garden at Apple Tree Cottage in Ringstead
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Ringstead gardeners are preparing for the village’s 39th annual open garden event on Sunday (July 3).

The gardens will be open to the public from 11am and the popular plant stall plus the bric-a- brac stall will be held in the beautiful garden of Apple Tree Cottage, which is a delight in itself.

On the outskirts of the picturesque village, in the Chalk Pit area of Ringstead Downs, there is the beautiful area created by the charity Woodland Gardens and Walks Group.

On the day, lunches (£9) will be served at The Old Rectory between 12-2pm (to book call Sara on 07786 316610), and teas will be available at Westgate House from 11am-5pm, where there will be craft stalls, a cake and produce stall, tombola and raffle.

The Seven Sacraments will be the theme of the flower display in St Andrew’s Church, which will be open to view from 10am-5pm on Sunday and Monday.

At 4.30pm Lord Melchett will once again lead what has proved to be a popular and enjoyable guided tour around Courtyard Farm and Ringstead Common; dogs on leads are welcome.

A regular event held in conjunction with Ringstead Garden Sunday is the Ringstead Artists Exhibition (Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm). Rich in creative talent the village is home to a number of artists whose artistic temperament and subject matter are as broad and diverse as the gardens themselves. The seven artists exhibiting this year range in styles from abstraction to realism and work in all kinds of media including watercolour, acrylic, oils, photography and digital imaging.

Free minibus transport around the village will be available, if required, on the Sunday. Tickets at £3 admits to all locations, and proceeds go to St Andrew’s Church. For any further information call Sara on 01485 525437.


At Flitcham on Sunday there is the chance to enjoy the landscape and wildlife of Abbey Farm.

There are open walks of varying lengths to take at your own pace at any time from 7am to 5pm.

They go to the farm’s wetlands with a chalk stream and orchid meadows, arable fields and the attractive flower-rich grasslands on the chalk hill-tops.

Four guided walks have also been organised starting at 7.30am with farmland birds led by Edward Cross; 10am for chalk, springs and the source of the River Babingley led by Dr Tim Grapes; 12.15am for a flower pick picnic – bring a picnic and pick a posy of wild flowers, led by Susan Cross; and at 2.30pm for flies and other insects led by Dr Tony Irwin.

Light refreshments will be available from 9am to 5pm at Abbey Farm aid of Little Discoverers who support local children with motor learning difficulties and delayed development.

All the walks are free and you are welcome to take a picnic to have out on the farm; dogs are not allowed, except on the public access grassland beside the village sports field.