Health and wellbeing

At its inception, over 25 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.  The result of this activity is the beautiful garden you will see when you visit, secure in the knowledge that this garden has benefited the individuals who created it and continues to do so.

Not only do our volunteers benefit from their involvement, but our visitors can also enjoy the peace and tranquility 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.  Part of the group of seven charities that make up Ryedale Charities Together, Helmsley Walled Garden encourages visits from those involved with this essential local support network and enables access to the all the benefits of this wonderful garden for many individuals from our local community.  We often run courses with a Health and Wellbeing theme, such as our Mindfulness and Photography course or painting workshops with our resident artist, Clare Belbin-Carlile.

The design of the garden itself, and our plans for the future, are all about the therapeutic benefits of green space, considering how we can better inform our visitors, enable their relaxed enjoyment of the garden, show examples of different types of planting they can try in their own gardens, protect our natural environment through sustainable gardening and preserve the feeling that Helmsley Walled Garden has evolved for and with the individuals that have cared for and supported it over the years.