MORE than £15,000 has been donated to an appeal to save a much-loved attraction in Ryedale.

Helmsley Walled Garden has launched its Our Secret Garden campaign to raise at least £50,000 after it was unable to open this season due to coronavirus.

Organisers say if the target isn’t met before the garden, which costs on average £13,000 per month to run, is due to reopen in March next year, it may not open again.

June Tainsh, garden manager, said: “It is heart-breaking to think that our stunning garden, made so by a small staff and essential volunteers, is blooming behind locked gates and will remain that way if we don’t get vital funds soon.

“The garden provides solace and a refuge for a great many of our 50 strong volunteer workforce – some of our more vulnerable volunteers are supported in a range of ways at the garden and the provision of this unique facility and the way we run it is at risk along with the garden’s future.”

In 2018, the garden was chosen as a location for Heyday Film’s production of The Secret Garden and played host to actors such as Colin Firth and Julie Walters. It had arranged a number of events this summer to coincide with the film’s release in August.

Rosie Alison, from Heyday Films, said: “We fell in love with Helmsley Walled Garden when we visited it in our location search: not only is it an exquisite garden, but the work done there to encourage the therapeutic benefit of gardening is so in tune with The Secret Garden.”

Our Secret Garden campaign offers people the chance to adopt a square metre of the historic walled garden for a small fee, 100 per cent of which goes towards the charity.

All areas available are listed on

Plots are £25 each and every donor will receive an e-certificate with their chosen patch of the garden.

To donate, visit or