REGULAR supporters of a mid Essex hospice opened their Althorne gardens to raise vital funds for the charity.

Farleigh Hospice supporters, David and Hilary Clark, have been organising their annual open garden event at their home for the past five years, which raises money for the charity.

More than 200 people attended this year’s Althorne Open Gardens event, which took place earlier this month.

The popular event initially began as an art show as Hilary is a member of an art group and held the show as a fundraiser.

They found people coming to the show also asked to take a look at their beautiful gardens, so the event evolved to become an open garden and art show.

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Last year's event was cancelled due to Covid-19 and both Farleigh Hospice and The Clark’s were delighted it could go ahead this year.

Hilary Clark said: "I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the community that attended our open garden even this year. It was so great to be able to hold it again.

"Thank you to all who attend our event for your ongoing support.

"Farleigh Hospice provide marvellous help for people in our community affected by life-limiting illness and bereavement, and we enjoy being able to help them in any way we can to give something back to our community."

In addition to the gardens and the art exhibition, Hilary and David also sell refreshments and plants on the day.

David and Hilary's large garden overlooks the River Crouch, with far reaching views out to Burnham and back towards Fambridge.

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Guests enjoy a woodland walk leading to a lake which is home to the ducks the couple rear there.

Debbie de Boltz, fundraising manager at Farleigh Hospice said: "We are so grateful to Hilary and David for their continued support. Over the years, their generosity in giving their time and expertise to all of the fundraising activities that they undertake for us means so much to us.

"This year’s open garden event raised over £2,000 which is a phenomenal amount for a single garden event.

"In addition to opening up their garden for us each year, they also play a fundamental role in our annual Christmas tree recycling scheme, which would not be the success it is today without their help."

Farleigh’s popular open gardens programme of events take place every summer.

Homeowners across the community open their gardens in support of the hospice.