A RYEDALE attraction is set to celebrate its 21st birthday this summer.

Yorkshire Lavender, based at Terrington, began as a caravan and a few experimental rows of the plant.

Since then it has evolved into an award-winning tourist attraction, winner of Yorkshire in Bloom for 10 years running and one of the largest suppliers of lavender in the country.

The business is owned by Nigel Goodwill, who bought the farm in the early 1990s following the death of his wife.

He wanted to grow something on it and he thought about garlic - but after a visit to the doctor’s surgery and reading a magazine in the waiting room about growing lavender, Yorkshire Lavender was born.

A spokesman for the business said the milestone was “quite an achievement” for a small family-run business.

“None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of Mr Goodwill’s loyal and hardworking staff,” they added.

The business is a family affair. Mr Goodwill’s children Sam and Emma - who were aged nine and seven when it first opened - have always been involved in the running of the business.

Sam now runs the online retail site selling various lavender products and Emma runs EJ’s Tea Room.

With views over the Vale of York, the gardens include a mixture of different styles, including a lavender spiral, Mediterranean garden, sensory garden along with rows of different varieties of lavender.

The business has also evolved a number of child-friendly play areas including “hillside snakes and ladders”, Wibbly, Wobbly Way and a lavender maze.

Such tourist attractions are also considered important economically. Ryedale District Council estimates that Ryedale welcomes 4.3 million visitors each year, with the district’s visitor economy worth £291 million in value.