About us

A beautiful garden, changing lives

At its inception, 30 years ago, Helmsley Walled Garden was in essence a garden for its community.  Alison Ticehurst was ahead of her time in her thinking and today community gardens benefit many individuals all over the UK.  That ethos still remains at Helmsley and the garden aims to engage its local community in gardening for their health and wellbeing.  We are a small, independent charity, run by a dedicated group of volunteer trustees and managed by a small team of staff.

We aim to enhance the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of everyone who uses the garden. Our emphasis on therapeutic horticulture is central to our way of working.

Not only do our volunteers benefit from their involvement, but our visitors can also enjoy the peace and tranquillity this beautiful space holds for all.  Walled gardens are particularly comforting – we feel safely enclosed but can enjoy the feeling of space around us from the borrowed landscape of Duncombe Park.  Managed by volunteers, Helmsley has a relaxed and gentle atmosphere – we allow annual seedlings to pop up here and there – and a stroll around the garden will give you a sense of the rhythm and ebb and flow of nature.  You will find restful lawns, neatly trimmed but also meadows where the grass has been allowed to grow long and is interspersed with bright bulbs and flowers.  Enjoy the riot of vibrant yellows and oranges in the Hot Border or rest your eyes in the tranquil White Garden.  Helmsley Castle sits watching over the garden, giving a feeling of stability and resilience and visitors can enjoy a sense of local history wandering through our heritage Yorkshire apple collection.

All of these elements come together to make Helmsley a healing and restorative place for our volunteers and visitors alike. Helmsley Walled Garden encourages visits from other local charities to benefit from this wonderful garden.

What is therapeutic horticulture?

Therapeutic horticulture is quite simply the engagement of individuals with horticultural activity to improve their physical and mental health and well being.  Gardening is good for us and the range of different activities present in this 5-acre walled garden ensure we can benefit people physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Through working with others, our volunteers gain a sense of productivity and belonging.

To find out how you can support the work we do within our community, visit the Support Us pages on our website.

Support us