AN appeal to save an historic garden has reached its £50,000 target.

Helmsley Walled Garden has topped its total, which currently stands at around £55,033.

Staff at the garden, which features in this year’s forthcoming cinema release The Secret Garden starring Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Dixie Egerickx, were concerned the garden gates may not open again.

“We feel excitement, relief, thrilled, grateful – such a mass of emotions by this wonderful news,” said Tricia Harris, the garden’s marketing and communications manager.

“We want to say thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to every single person who donated.

“I didn’t fully comprehend how truly special the garden is to so many people.

“It’s been a difficult time for everyone – people becoming redundant, losing loved ones through coronavirus and the overall unpredictability of the situation.

“Despite this, people have still dipped into their pockets to donate towards charity organisations like ourselves – it means more than I can say.

“Reading through the messages on our donations’ page brought a tear to my eye; your support really means the world.”

The charity, which is reliant on entry fees, grants and donations, is planning to reopen on August 1.

Government safety guidelines will be in place to protect staff, volunteers and customers, including pre-booking tickets and a one-way system.

“We want everyone to have a lovely time, but prioritise safety,” said Tricia.

“By pre-booking tickets, we can manage the numbers efficiently and make sure everyone is safe – including our dedicated volunteers. Our ethos is changing lives through gardening.

“With your kind donations, we can welcome back community groups and make a difference.

“Reaching our £50,000 total has put a spring in our step.”

To donate, visit