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Arlington Bluebell Walk & Farm Trails

The 2024 Arlington Bluebell Walk and Farm Trails has broken all records!

 

The five-week event – which ran from April 10 until May 14 – raised an incredible £93,470 for the 27 charities, who took it in turns to meet and greet visitors and run the cafe.

That means the total amount raised in 51 years is £1,061,654.

The Arlington Church Plant Stall, in a new location, raised more than £10,000 in the five weeks.

Owner John McCutchan – who makes it all happen – said: “It all started in 1972 from an idea of Carolyn, my late wife, who wondered whether the public would be prepared to pay, so they could view the bluebells in Beatons Wood and at the same time raise funds for Park Mead School.

“That concept has meant that Arlington Church and the Village Hall, when they first become involved in 1975, have benefited from £258,473 with more to come year on year!

“The weathervane atop the Village Hall, depicting Carolyn with her gardening hat, pushing a wheelbarrow through bluebells, will always be a reminder, that this small village of Arlington, which my father moved to in 1921 buying Bates Green and Beatons Wood, will continue to be enriched.

“This year, the usual unpredictable early spring weather added to our challenges, starting with the white wood anemones that so quickly flowered, replaced by the bluebells, at least 10 days earlier than last year.

“Fortunately we had a period of cold weather, so they lasted well. The usual luck of the organizers of the three day Village May Bank Holiday weekend, deserted them on their Monday, as it rained and rained, with only around 200 visitors instead of the expected ten times that number!

This year there were 27 different charities involved, who raised £93,470, due to the sheer hard work of their respective volunteers. Without exception, the charities welcomed our many changes, especially the enlarged kitchen, the two coffee machines and all those other changes, which made my investment so worthwhile.

Many people help me each year to seamlessly run the many elements of what has become quite a complex operation.

I am having a much needed rest, then the priority, while it is still fresh in my mind, will be planning to try and perfect the 2025 Walk! Pity the weather is always the unknown!”

Author

  • Peter Lindsey

    PETER Lindsey is a PR specialist, having worked in the local media in Sussex as a Newspaper Editor from 1990 to 2009. He is a now a Director at Ignite PRE and is also Editor of Bournefree Magazine online and in print, which covers Eastbourne and Hailsham areas.

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