Nicola Schulz, event organiser, Fletching CE Primary
School, Fletching, East Sussex (85 pupils) told us about her PTA's
'The Garden Trail has run for the past 23 years - last year we
amassed 28 gardens, which all featured in a brochure given out with
tickets on the day. Our team is made up of ten parents, who take on
the bigger roles, such as organising the brochure, selling
advertising and recruiting garden-owners. We also have a sign-up
sheet for those who can help with cake baking, setting up the
marquees, serving refreshments, and so on. Each year a member of
staff asks villagers if they will support us by opening their
garden to the public one Sunday in June. The majority of
participants have been a part of the garden trail for many years.
People also approach us offering to show their gardens - some run
games for the children or sell refreshments, too.
The same brochure template is used each year, and one of our
team works at a printing firm, so prints these for us. We sell
advertising space to local businesses - this is all organised by
two members of our team, though most are repeat bookings.
Businesses include local pubs, garden centres and caterers, and we
charge £10-15 per half page.
We start publicising the event in January, sending out a press
release to the local newspaper. Two weeks before the event we put
up flyers and posters in local shops, pubs and tourist attractions.
We're supported by a local estate agent and use their promotional
boards. Social media is also very useful.
We sell tickets at the school, charging £6 per adult, with free
entry for children. The trail starts with our own School House
Garden, where people can visit stalls and enjoy refreshments. We
invite the National Trust, vintage ice-cream sellers and local
craftspeople to hire a stall for £10-15 each. Our visitors can then
continue following the trail - it is numbered but people tend to
visit the gardens in no particular order. Most are within the
village itself, and a local farmer gives up land for additional
parking, so that visitors can get around by car if need be.
Feedback is always extremely positive and everyone pulls
together, which is a great boost for the village. The event's
success is down to the dedication and talents within the community
- villagers, school staff, families and friends! On average, the
event raises around £5,000.'
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