A HEREFORDSHIRE village has vowed not to let Covid-19 beat its fundraising mission this year, by taking their summer open garden programme online.

The St Michael's Hospice Open Gardens programme has generated over £100,000 in the last five years, and this year Hampton Bishop village was set to join the programme with ten gardeners opening to the public before the lockdown.

However, Hampton Bishop does not give up easily, and so Hampton Bishop virtual Open Gardens was born.

A total of 14 gardens will be available to view online in a bid to raise vital funds for St Michaels Hospice, St Andrew's Church Hampton Bishop and The Emmy Coates Thyroid Cancer Research Fund at the Royal Marsden.

Event co-ordinator Alison Watkins, herself an outpatient at St Michael's Hospice said: "The enthusiasm of the village gardeners has been overwhelming, and everybody was so disappointed when we thought that the event would have to be cancelled.

"The wonderful weather had meant that the gardens are all in tip-top condition and so the virtual concept has provided the best solution. We are very lucky to have such talented gardeners in the village, as well as the people with the technological, know how to make it work.

"All of the garden videos have been set to music composed by local musician Tom Hughes, and were filmed by Sophie Jones of Saunders and Jones Graphic Design Services. Thanks also go to Kate La Barre for managing the village website."

Chris Smart, communications manager at St Michael's Hospice, said: "Open Gardens is one of the centrepieces of our summer fundraising session, and it was devastating for all involved to have to postpone the events.

"Having the community of Hampton Bishop come target to organise a virtual tour is has lifted our spirits at St Michael's and we would like to thank all those who have helped make it happen."

Videos and photographs of these delightful gardens will feature on the village website www.hamptonbishop.info and St Michael's Hospice social media channels from May 30.