National Garden Scheme President, Mary Berry, receives Damehood in Queen’s Birthday Honours
The National Garden Scheme is delighted to announce that its President, Mary Berry, has been made a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this month (October 2020). Mary, a former Great British Bake Off judge, food writer and broadcaster has enjoyed a career over six decades, writing more than 70 cookery books, becoming the nation’s ‘Queen of cakes’ and receiving a CBE for services to culinary arts in 2012.
Mary opened her garden for the National Garden Scheme for over 20 years and became President of the National Garden Scheme in 2016. “There is something special about visiting a garden,” she says. “Sharing your passion with like-minded people and enjoying delicious cake brings such enormous pleasure.”
“Having Mary as our President, someone who is as passionate about gardening as she is about cooking and lends her official support to so few charities, is a huge privilege for the National Garden Scheme,” says CEO George Plumptre. “Her enthusiasm and generosity have brought a wonderful dimension to our work and we are thrilled that she has received this latest, much deserved, honour.”
In 2020, Mary helped launch the charity’s ‘Help Support Our Nurses’ appeal when the coronavirus pandemic forced National Garden Scheme gardens to close their gates for the first time in the charity’s history. “This wonderful organisation has been inviting people to open their gardens to raise funds for nursing and health charities for more than ninety years,” she said. “During that time it has given away nearly sixty million pounds. The virtual garden visits, filmed by garden owners during the lockdown are a fantastic idea, typical of the resourcefulness which has kept the National Garden Scheme going for over ninety years.”