A giant fairy door has been unveiled at Furzey Gardens in Minstead to begin its centenary fundraising appeal.
The door was unveiled in a short ceremony on 13 April attended by garden visitors and the people with learning disabilities who helped build it.
They are supported by local charity Minstead Trust, which runs the gardens, to learn new skills in its woodwork workshops and elsewhere. They are some of over 220 people supported by the charity across Hampshire to live more independent and fulfilled lives.
The eight foot fairy door is believed to be the world’s largest and houses a smaller door that allows visitors of all ages to enter a bamboo maze. Ceramic fairies adorn the surface of the door, all made by people with learning disabilities in guided pottery sessions.
The new giant door joins more than 40 other tiny fairy doors that are hidden around the garden and have proven popular with generations of young visitors.
The door unveiling kicks off the Special Years Appeal, which aims to raise £500,000 for the garden’s centenary year to ensure it has a thriving future.
Iesha, who is supported by Minstead Trust and helped to build the fairy door, said: ‘I loved making the fairy door, it was a lot of fun. I think it looks really good here.’
Matt Stroud, Head of Marketing at Minstead Trust, said: ‘The woodwork instructors and people we support have done a remarkable job building this giant door. With a little help from the fairies of Furzey Gardens of course…
‘We hope visitors of all ages will enjoy entering our bamboo maze through the door and marvelling at the ceramics and artwork that adorn the door. It is a fitting celebration of our centenary as we seek to raise crucial funds in our Special Years Appeal.’
The centenary year aims to tell the pioneering story of the gardens – from the intrepid plant hunters who filled the gardens with rare species to its more modern history as a place of support and education for people with learning disabilities.
It will also recognise what a special place the gardens are for the physical and mental health of visitors, volunteers and people with learning disabilities. Initiatives will help people find new ways to appreciate the peace and tranquillity of Furzey as a place to relax with family and friends.
The giant fairy door has been kindly supported by Northwood Estate Agents and Holistic Hideaways.
To find out more or make a donation to support the centenary visit www.minsteadtrust.org.uk/furzey-centenary
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