Where's Wally in the Daffodils

Family-friendly event on Sunday 28th April 2019

1pm – 5pm at Stody Lodge Gardens near Holt  

In association with The Benjamin Foundation

On Sunday 28th April 2019, Stody Lodge Gardens near Holt in North Norfolk will welcome the region’s Where’s Wally lovers for a day of fancy dress, beautiful garden and delicious homemade teas by The Benjamin Foundation. The event has been developed in association with this remarkable East Anglian charity. The Benjamin Foundation was set up in 1994 to help children and adults of all ages deal with many of the challenges that life throws at them and is this year celebrating its 25th anniversary.

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Stody Lodge Gardens is renowned for being one of East Anglia’s most dramatic spring gardens with 14-acres of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, camellias and carpets of spring bulbs. Normally only open to the public in May, the earlier April opening date for the Where’s Wally event has been chosen specifically to capture the flowering period of the garden’s 40 different varieties of daffodils, bluebells and early-flowering azaleas and rhododendrons.

 All visitors dressed as Where’s Wally will be invited into the magical gardens at Stody Lodge for free (children under 12 are always welcomed into the garden for free.) Wally outfits must include a hat and top. There will be a group ‘Wally’ photo at 3.30pm where all the costumed visitors in the gardens are invited to congregate in the orchard where there are over 4,000 daffodils in one location. The orchard was planted with 11 tonnes of daffodils in 2012 and these bulbs have now spread creating an incredible carpet of yellow each spring.

Over 4,000 daffodils in the orchard at Stody Lodge Gardens

Over 4,000 daffodils in the orchard at Stody Lodge Gardens

Visitors who wish to come dressed as Wally are encouraged to buy their outfits online or at their local fancy dress store. Their outfit must include a Wally hat and top.

Alongside a walk through Stody’s beautiful gardens, visitors will be welcome to purchase delicious homemade teas and scones by The Benjamin Foundation, from which the charity will take all the proceeds. There will also be a Butterfly Trail through the gardens, a treasure map and games on the lawn for everyone to enjoy. Stody’s favourite Shetland, Mitch the Titch, will also be dressing up as Wally and there will be some goats and their kids to admire too.

Kate MacNicol, owner of Stody Lodge Gardens, said: “Our annual daffodil display is really special and we are excited about making the most of it with this fun and light-hearted event. Dressing up is not compulsory and all are welcome to attend but we’re hoping for a great turn out of Wally’s for an excellent group photo.”

Chris Elliott, Marketing and Fundraising Manager at The Benjamin Foundation, said: “We were delighted to be invited by the team at Stody to help organise the Where’s Wally in the Daffodils. As our charity is all about supporting the young and vulnerable of all ages we are really pleased to be fundraising at Stody at this family-friendly event and celebrating our 25th anniversary.

Entrance is £7 for those not dressed as Wally (hat and top), children under 12 free. There is good disabled access to most areas of the garden. Accessible toilet and parking available. Dogs on leads welcome.

Anyone interested in donating a cake to the tea rooms, please contact Jessica.Glover@benjaminfoundation.co.uk.

 

The Stody Rainbow Garden Party - Saturday 25th May 2019

LGBT+ community invited to magical gardens at rural Norfolk estate. In association with Norwich Pride and Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Pride

Michelle Savage of the Sing with Pride Choir with dog Frank enjoying the Stody Big Gay Out in May 2018

Michelle Savage of the Sing with Pride Choir with dog Frank enjoying the Stody Big Gay Out in May 2018

On Saturday 25th May 2019, Stody Lodge Gardens near Holt in North Norfolk will once again extend a special welcome and invitation to the LGBT+ community, as well as family and friends, to celebrate diversity in all its forms within 14-acres of colourful rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias.

This is the second year running that Stody Lodge Gardens has held an event in support of the rural LGBT+ community. This year it is organised by the owners of Stody Lodge Gardens in close conjunction with Norwich Pride and Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Pride.  The Stody Rainbow Garden Party will build on the fantastic response to the inaugural event, The Stody Big Gay Out, which took place on 26th May 2018, but with even more fun, activities and surprises.

Richard Hulbert, Head Gardener at Stody Lodge Gardens, said: “As a gay man I am extremely proud to be sharing the extraordinary gardens at Stody Lodge in Norfolk with the wider LGBT+ community. Through the Stody Rainbow Garden party we want to challenge the stereotype of the LGBT+ community in a rural environment and positively promote diversity and inclusiveness.  It is my hope that this event will encourage tolerance and other similar events across the UK. I was amazed at how successful The Stody big Gay Out was and surprised at how supportive our local community were. I am really pleased to have this second opportunity to invite the LGBT+ community back to Stody Lodge Gardens.”

Kate MacNicol, owner of Stody Lodge Gardens, said: “Our rainbow-coloured gardens provide the perfect backdrop to a true celebration of the LGBT+ community. We were blown away by the feedback on last year’s event and couldn’t wait to start planning for next year. With a new name and additional partners on board there will be a huge amount of fun activities and surprises for you all to enjoy.”

Julie Bremner, a Trustee of Norwich Pride, said: “The team at Stody have been incredibly supportive and generous towards our community and we are very excited about plans for The Stody Rainbow Garden Party in May 2019. It is important that all of us show our support for those living in a rural environment and I can’t wait to once again bring some of the joy of Pride to the countryside.”

Jo Rust of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Pride, said: “We heard about the brilliant event that took place at Stody Lodge Gardens last year and were delighted to be invited to join the team. We know how challenging it can be for someone identifying as LGBT+ who lives in the countryside. This is a fantastic initiative that has our full support.”

Joanna Jane B. a member of the transgender support group OASIS Norfolk, said: "Last year’s event was such a beautiful day in all respects, so many superlatives. The gardens were magnificent - the colour and scents from the azaleas and the colour of the rhododendrons was so spectacular, just superb. A credit to everyone for their hard work and dedication, not least the wonderful performance by the Sing with Pride choir. My companions for the day, Beccie, Petra and I felt so welcome, happy smiling faces everywhere and good conversation at the refreshment area. We left with an overwhelming sense of happiness and wellbeing. A lot of Oasis ladies are looking forward to returning again next year.”

Norwich Pride and Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Pride will serve delicious rainbow cakes and homemade teas to the garden’s hungry visitors. All proceeds from the tea rooms will go to help fund Norwich’s 11th Anniversary Pride on 27th July 2019 and the second Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Pride on Saturday 17th August 2019.

All members of the public are welcome to attend The Stody Rainbow Garden Party on Saturday 25th May 2019.  As well as being able to wander through Stody’s magical 14-acre gardens, including it’s 4-acre technicolour azalea water gardens (the largest of its kind in the UK), visitors can enjoy a fantastic range of activities and entertainment. There will be live music, talks, facepainting, fantastical animals, games on the lawn and much, much more. Further details to be announced in the spring. The event is very family friendly with all ages welcome.

Entrance is £7, children under 12 free. There is good disabled access to most areas of the garden. Accessible toilet and parking available. Dogs on leads welcome.

 Anyone interested in donating a cake to the rainbow tea rooms to be served on 25th May 2019 at Stody Lodge Gardens, please contact jules@norwichpride.org.uk.

 

The Stody Classic Vehicles Day - Sunday 12th May 2019

Chris and Hilary King with their 1954 Riley RME, winner of the 2018 Stody ‘Vehicle of the Day’ award

Chris and Hilary King with their 1954 Riley RME, winner of the 2018 Stody ‘Vehicle of the Day’ award

On Sunday 12th May 2019, Stody Lodge Gardens will extend a special welcome to a wide range of classic vehicle lovers for its spectacular May-flowering season.  The Stody Classic Vehicles Day 2019 will be a great gathering of classic vehicles of all varieties.

This event, now in its second year, is back by popular demand after hundreds of classic vehicle owners braved grey skies on 13th May 2018 to enjoy a wonderful day of motors, homemade teas and beautiful gardens.

Stody Lodge Gardens near Holt in North Norfolk has become increasingly popular as a destination for car lovers over recent years. On 1st May 2017, Stody hosted the 28th Heritage Run of the Broadland MG Owners' Club annual rally. On 22nd May 2016, the Stody Boutique Festival was attended by a fantastic selection of classic and vintage vehicles that was hugely popular with the festival's visitors. It has also been visited by several other classic car clubs who are drawn to its excellent facilities for motor enthusiasts as well as its unusually bright and colourful gardens.

David Johnson, of the Broadland MGOC, said: 'We had a fantastic time visiting Stody Lodge Gardens in 2017 and 2018 and all our members felt very welcome. There was ample well-drained parking, lots of space for picnics and everyone really enjoyed looking around these brightly coloured gardens.'

On Sunday 12th May 2019, there will be free entry to the gardens for all drivers of a classic vehicle (passengers not included.) Gates to the gardens open at 1pm and close at 5pm but vehicles are welcome to arrive any time from midday.

Individual vehicle owners are welcome to attend The Stody Classic Vehicles Day without registering their vehicle or completing an application form.

£15,900 raised for local charities in May 2018

The Sing With PRIDE and NoRWICH PRIDE TEAMS with Kate Macnicol of stody lodge gardens

The Sing With PRIDE and NoRWICH PRIDE TEAMS with Kate Macnicol of stody lodge gardens

Stody Lodge Gardens welcomed hundreds of visitors through its doors in May 2018 and raised a fantastic £15,900 for local charities through its homemade teas.

This year the charities invited to provide the homemade teas, from which they take all the proceeds, included Tapping House, The Benjamin Foundation, Heritage House, The Holt Youth Centre, St Johns Ambulance, St Andrews Church in Holt, Stody and Hunworth Churches, Thornage Hall, Norwich Pride and the National Garden Scheme. These ten charities fuelled busy garden lovers with delicious cakes, brownies, flapjacks, sandwiches, sausage rolls and scones.

Chris Elliot, Marketing and Fundraising Manager at The Benjamin Foundation, said: After hosting a successful afternoon serving tea and cakes in May 2017, we were delighted to be invited back to Stody Lodge by the MacNicol family in 2018. The support of local businesses and organisations is so important to us both in terms fundraising and raising awareness of the work we do to help local people who are going through challenging times.”

Chris continues. “Our heartfelt thanks to everybody involved in such a successful afternoon, including our wonderful volunteers and staff who helped us at the event, bakers and business supporters who supplied us with cakes and snacks to sell, and of course the team from the Stody Estate and the MacNicol family for giving us this valuable opportunity.”

Kate MacNicol of Stody Lodge Gardens, said:All of the charities we invited to provide homemade teas in the gardens this May worked incredibly hard and we are delighted that they raised such significant sums for their individual worthy causes. A stop-off at the tea rooms for a delicious homemade Victoria sponge, flapjack or brownie, has become an essential part of any visit to see the spectacular colour at Stody Lodge Gardens.”

A magnificent 1954 Riley RME wins ‘Vehicle of the Day’ at the inaugural Stody Classic Vehicles Day

Chris and Hilary King with their winning 1954 Riley RME

Chris and Hilary King with their winning 1954 Riley RME

On Sunday 13th May 2018, Stody Lodge Gardens welcomed hundreds of classic vehicles who defied the morning’s grey skies to enjoy a fabulous afternoon of motors, homemade teas by St John’s Ambulance and spectacular gardens.

David Johnson of the Broadland MG Owners’ Club and Peter Thomas of the Norwich MG Owners’ Club judged and presented the ‘Vehicle of the Day’ trophy to Chris and Hilary King, the proud owners of a beautiful “Spatted” RME Riley built in 1954 with a 1½ litre twin cam engine.

The judges praised the car’s excellent condition and how it had been restored to a “perfect level.” In particular, they admired how the owners had retained the “beautiful patina of the original dashboard and seating.”

 ‘Teddy,’ Hilary King’s childhood teddy bear who was made in 1954, the same year as the car

 ‘Teddy,’ Hilary King’s childhood teddy bear who was made in 1954, the same year as the car

The Stody Classic Vehicles Day forms part of a series of events taking place at Stody Lodge Gardens this May. Next up is an exhibition of work by local artists, wood sculptor Martin Pigg and painter Tracy Weston, from Sunday 20th May to Bank Holiday Monday 28th May. In addition, the Stody Big Gay Out will take place on Saturday 26th May. This day will be a special invitation to and celebration of the LGBT+ community and will raise funds for Norwich’s 10th anniversary Pride parade on Saturday 28th July. All members of the public welcome.

Don't miss the inaugural Stody Classic Vehicles Day this Sunday

On Sunday 13th May 2018, Stody Lodge Gardens will extend a special welcome to a wide range of classic vehicle lovers for its spectacular May-flowering season.  The Stody Classic Vehicles Day will be a great gathering of classic vehicles of all varieties.

David Johnson, of the Broadland MG Owners' Club, said: 'We had a fantastic time visiting Stody Lodge Gardens and all our members felt very welcome. There was ample well-drained parking, lots of space for picnics and everyone really enjoyed visiting these brightly coloured gardens.'

This event has been organised following the rising popularity of these magical gardens as a destination for car lovers over recent years. Most recently, on 1st May 2017, Stody Lodge Gardens hosted the 28th Heritage Run of the Broadland MG Owners' Club annual rally. On 22nd May 2016, the Stody Boutique Festival was attended by a fantastic selection of classic and vintage vehicles that was hugely popular with the festival's visitors. It has also been visited by several other classic car clubs who are drawn to its excellent facilities for motor enthusiasts as well as its unusually bright and colourful gardens.

On Sunday there will be free entry to the gardens for all drivers of a classic vehicle (passengers not included.) Gates to the gardens open at 1pm and close at 5pm but vehicles are welcome to arrive any time from midday.

Individual vehicle owners are welcome to attend The Stody Classic Vehicles Day without registering their vehicle or completing an application form. If you wish to attend as part of a club, please contact Stody Lodge Gardens on enquiries@stodyestate.co.uk or on 01263 860572 to give an idea of numbers so appropriate sized parking can be reserved.

Announcing the winners of the 2018 Stody Young Talent Awards!

The winners of the 2018 Stody Young Talent Awards: (from left) P Morison, Olivia Lavelle and Aubrey McCosh

The winners of the 2018 Stody Young Talent Awards: (from left) P Morison, Olivia Lavelle and Aubrey McCosh

Stody Lodge Gardens is delighted to announce the three winners of the 2018 Stody Young Talent Awards.

Now in its fourth year, this year’s awards challenged years 4, 5 and 6 at local primary schools to depict ‘cake baking’ in any 2D form. Tracy Weston, a local artist living in the village of Stody, judged the finalists put forward by three participating schools and selected the following winners from each of the three age groups:

P Morison of Beeston Preparatory School won the Year 4 category for his geometric interpretation of the brief. Tracy Weston praised his cake’s ‘simple structure and design contrasting with the bright explosive firework candles’ and great use of colour.

In the year 5 category, Aubrey McCosh of Beeston Preparatory School won for his fantastic cake surrounded by ingredients and cooking implements. Aubrey’s cake stood out for its ‘excellent movement and expressive use of water colour to show the magic and chemistry in baking.’

Olivia Lavelle of Gresham’s Preparatory School won the Year 6 category for her ‘excellent imagination and use of eye-popping colours to depict a beautiful cake with great attention to detail.’

Unable to only select three winners, one for each age group, Tracy also awarded Special Mentions to Patrycja Kobialka from Holt Primary (year 4), Jamie Philippi from Beeston Preparatory School (year 5) and Inez Clarke from Gresham’s Preparatory (year 6).

Sunshine and fun raises £1,500 for the Holt Youth Centre

Children enjoying rides on Barney and Fernando from Scratby Donkeys at the Stody 'Kids for Kids' Family Fun Day on Sunday 6th May 2018

Children enjoying rides on Barney and Fernando from Scratby Donkeys at the Stody 'Kids for Kids' Family Fun Day on Sunday 6th May 2018

Over 1,000 visitors of all ages flocked to Stody Lodge Gardens on Sunday to enjoy the face painting, farmyard animals, traditional fete games on the lawn and treasure hunt throughout Stody Lodge’s stunning 14-acre rhododendron and azalea gardens.

The fantastic weather made the spectacular colours in the garden even more magical for the hundreds of children who came to enjoy the many fun activities on offer. New for this year were rides by Scratby Donkeys which were hugely popular. Many beautiful fairy houses were also made in the new den making area led by Mandy Huntridge.  

Thanks to the volume of visitors and generous donations by many of those involved in the event, the day raised a fantastic £1,500 for The Holt Youth Centre which offers social, educational and training opportunities for young people in the Holt area.

 

Stody Lodge Gardens to showcase works by two Norfolk artists this May

From Sunday 20th May to Bank Holiday Monday 28th May, Stody Lodge Gardens will be joined by two local artists: wood sculptor Martin Pigg and painter Tracy Weston.

A graduate from the highly commended "Merrist Wood College" in Surrey, Martin is largely self-taught and carves instinctively. He plays with light, lines and textures in wood to create minimalist style pieces of work with strong contrasts.

The contemporary spirit of his work has secured him commissions from around the world.  His pieces can be found in Holland Park, Kensington, and several have featured as centrepieces in award winning gardens at Chelsea flower show (a Gold winning garden by Richard Beales); Hampton Court Flower Show (a silver winning garden by Sadie Stowell) and the International garden show Koblenz (the Norwich Garden.) He has won awards at the Southwold Sculpture Competition in Suffolk as has sold pieces to international private collectors in Dubai, Guernsey and America.


Martin Pigg said: "I’m very excited to be showing my work at Stody Lodge Gardens. I am inspired by nature and the environment and I can’t wait to show my works in this beautiful setting.”

Tracy Weston lives in the village of Stody. Since studying Art at Colchester Art College, painting has been her life-long passion and companion. Describing her work as ‘abstract expressionism’ Tracy uses mixed media - mostly acrylics and pastel - to recreate a wide range of subjects with huge variety of expressions. She is also now working with outdoor paints to create work that can be positioned in a garden to be enjoyed in a natural surrounding all year round.

Tracy Weston said: “I have always been someone who will find colour in the darkest place and I like to paint what I feel or see. Art has no boundaries and no restraints so my paintings are very dependent on how I feel on the day. I'm very excited about my solo exhibition at Stody Lodge open gardens.”

Fun and fundraising planned at Stody Lodge Gardens this May

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Stody Lodge Gardens, the spectacular 14-acre rhododendron and azalea gardens just outside Holt, is hosting a raft of exciting events for its open gardens season this May. Each of its open days support a different local charity and this year these include the Holt Youth Centre, St Johns Ambulance, The Benjamin Foundation, St Andrew’s Church (Holt), Thornage Hall, The Norfolk Hospice, Heritage House and Stody & Hunworth Churches.

The much-loved Stody ‘Kids for Kids’ Family Fun Day returns on Sunday 6th May. Norfolk’s youngsters are invited to come and enjoy a wide range of activities and farmyard animals including feeding young goats and kids. The highly popular Stody Fun Dog Show will return with fourteen fun and accessible classes. New for this year will be donkey rides by the wonderful Scratby Donkeys. There will be fantastic face painting, a tricksy treasure hunt and fun games on the lawn.

On Sunday 13th May 2018, Stody Lodge Gardens invites the region’s classic vehicle lovers to The Stody Classic Vehicles Day.  This event will be a great celebration and gathering of classic vehicles of all varieties. Not just cars but tractors, campervans, motorbikes, coaches… all are welcome. There is no need to register your vehicle but please email enquiries@stodyestate.co.uk if you are coming in a group so we can reserve a parking space for you all to be together. There is ample well-drained parking and plenty of space for picnics and drivers of a classic vehicle will have free entry into the gardens.

Stody Lodge Gardens will also be exhibiting two Norfolk artists from Sunday 20th May to Bank Holiday Monday 28th May inclusive.  Martin Pigg’s contemporary wood sculptures have featured as centrepieces for Gold and Silver winning gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Flower Show respectively. Painter Tracy Weston, who lives in the village of Stody, will also be exhibiting her ‘abstract expressionism’ pieces in the gardens.

 Lastly, The Stody Big Gay Out will take place on Saturday 26th May 2018.  A special welcome and invitation is being extended to the region’s LGBT+ community, as well as family and friends, to come and enjoy Stody’s explosion of colour. All members of the public are welcome. This event has been developed in association with Norwich Pride who will serve delicious rainbow cakes and fundraise for Norwich’s 10th Anniversary Pride on 28th July 2018. 

Kate MacNicol of Stody Lodge Gardens, said: “We place a real emphasis on inclusivity with everything we do and wish to welcome everyone in our community to our gardens. We hope they will enjoy themselves either at one of our special events or just to soak up the colour and beauty of the gardens if they prefer to come on a quieter Sunday or mid-week open day.”

For further information please visit www.stodylodgegardens.co.uk or call 01263 860572 and email enquiries@stodyestate.co.uk.

Stody Lodge Gardens raises £13,300 for local charities during May 2017

Visitors to Stody Lodge Gardens enjoying homemade tea and cake provided by local charities

Visitors to Stody Lodge Gardens enjoying homemade tea and cake provided by local charities

Stody Lodge Gardens, Stody Estate's 14-acre rhododendron and azalea gardens near Holt, welcomed record visitor numbers through its doors in May 2017 and raised a fantastic £13,300 for local charities through its homemade teas.

This year the charities invited to provide the homemade teas at Stody Lodge Gardens, from which they take all the proceeds, included Tapping House, The Benjamin Foundation, Heritage House, The Holt Youth Project, St Johns Ambulance, St Andrews Church in Holt, North Norfolk Radio Kids Trust, Stody and Hunworth Village Room, Thornage hall, and the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind. These ten charities fuelled busy garden lovers with delicious cakes, brownies, flapjacks and scones with homemade sausage rolls also proving to be a huge hit. 

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Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind raises £2,300 at Stody Lodge Gardens

Donna Minto of the NNAB serving delicious homemade teas at Stody Lodge Gardens

Donna Minto of the NNAB serving delicious homemade teas at Stody Lodge Gardens

The fantastic volunteer bakers for the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind treated visitors to Stody Lodge Gardens to an amazing array of cakes, scones, cookies and flapjacks on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th May 2017. Thanks to all their hard work the charity raised a wonderful £2,300 over the two days.

NNAB fundraiser Donna Minto, said, “We were blessed with two sunny afternoons, which brought lots of visitors to the stunning gardens at Stody Lodge. Catering for so many people all in search of a traditional English tea was a big challenge for a team of volunteers, but they rose to it magnificently.

“We want to thank the Stody Estate for allowing us to provide the refreshments and raise money in this way – their generosity has seen so many Norfolk charities benefit over the years. We hope our teas were worthy of one of the most stunning gardens in the county.”