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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Holker Garden Festival 2010

THOUSANDS of visitors flocked to a sun-drenched Holker for one of the North’s premier gardening shows.

Around 22,000 people are estimated to have soaked up the atmosphere at Holker Garden Festival this weekend.

The three-day event, hosted by the Cavendish family and sponsored by the North-West Evening Mail, was a celebration of stunning show gardens, local food and produce, and traditional skills.

There was also jousting entertainment with the Knights of the Damned and fun with the ducks of Drakes of Hazard.

BBC Gardeners' World presenter Carol Klein made her first trip to Holker on Saturday.

The celebrity guest said: “I’m totally delighted to be here, it’s wonderful. I’d heard it was good but I did not realise it was this good. I have always wanted to come here and I tell you what, I’m going to come again, that’s for sure.

“Everyone should come.

“The quality of the exhibits is out of this world. Everything seems to be of such a high standard and I think the Lakes is known for that and it’s great to see everyone turning out and doing their very best.

“The show gardens here are just marvellous. I did not expect there to be such a high standard.

“And of course the garden up here at the hall is beautiful, it really is. What a wonderful setting.”

Carol was also impressed with the variety on offer in the Made in Cumbria marquee and she expressed her love for the area.

She said: “I’m a Mancunian by birth and I have spent a lot of time in the Lake District in my youth, all over the place and I just adore it. I think it is just one of the most beautiful places ever, and this part of it is just out of this world and it is not as well known as it should be.”

Carol, who is filming for a new cottage garden TV show to be screened next year, judged the Den Building competition in the Forest School area, a new addition to this year’s festival.

Pennington CE, Lindal and Marton, Thwaites, and Sir John Barrow schools were the four finalists in the contest hosted by forest school company, Wild At Heart, Holker Hall and the North-West Evening Mail.

Carol said: “I think it is such an excellent idea; involving kids with the countryside, getting them to think for themselves. Building dens is something I used to do a long, long time ago and loved.”

She decided that the four schools should be joint winners.

She said: “I think all the children have worked hard on this, with their adult helpers, they have just done such a fantastic job. I want the prizes to go to all four of them.”

Forest school practitioners, Vicky Atkinson and Gay Goodson, of Wild At Heart, were delighted with the decision.

Vicky said: “We totally agree with her. When the four schools came here to build their dens, we told them: You are all winners. That just mirrors what Carol’s decision was as well.

“The festival has been a great success and we have had a really good response.”

Gay said :“We have had a lot of interest in the whole ethos behind what we are doing.

“The children have real enjoyed it, it is something different from looking at the stalls. It has been very interactive.”

Lord Cavendish said many people have told him this year’s festival has been the best yet.

He said every year the Holker team works hard to bring fresh ideas and improve the quality of the festival.

Lord Cavendish said: “There is something about the atmosphere which I love about this, and I love the idea of doing something for the local economy.”

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