Our impact in 2021: Over £3 million donated in a year of continuing crisis

PRESS RELEASE: 1 December 2021

Despite the ongoing restrictions and uncertainty that continued throughout the early months of 2021, severely curtailing garden opening activities, the National Garden Scheme has today announced donations of over £3 million to its beneficiary charities. The total of £3,030,272 is only slightly lower than the pre-pandemic donation made in 2019 of £3,106,208. 

The lion’s share, £2,557,500, goes to some of the UK’s best-loved nursing and health charities*, many of which have provided vital support to the NHS and communities across the UK throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. National Garden Scheme funding has allowed these charities to continue the provision of critical services including the weekly provision of one million items of PPE to the hospice network and bereavement counselling for patients, families and staff.  

Commenting, National Garden Scheme Chairman Rupert Tyler said: “At a time when the collective activities and contributions of our beneficiaries in supporting the national endeavour continued to put unbearable pressure on many aspects of their work, we are delighted to be able to continue our support in such a meaningful way.” 

The National Garden Scheme relies primarily on the income generated by admissions at its garden gates and through the sale of plants, tea and cakes. In 2021, the donations amounted to 90% of funds raised in gardens being shared with beneficiaries. Additional income streams include fundraising events such as online talks, garden parties, and commercial partnerships. 

Commenting on these activities, Chief Executive George Plumptre said: “The enormous contribution by our garden owners and volunteers was added to by other fundraising activities. Some, such as our series of online talks which raised £40,000 in ticket sales, were born out of the restrictions of the pandemic; they have introduced us to new audiences at home and abroad with whom we look forward to staying in touch. A special fundraising event in August at Chilworth Manor in Surrey raised almost £30,000, and in September we hosted our second Great British Garden Party, giving the opportunity for anyone – whether they open their garden or not – to have an event with friends or family and raise funds for the National Garden Scheme, generating almost £40,000.” 

2021 also saw the National Garden Scheme celebrate 25 years of continued partnership and over £20 million of combined donations to three of its beneficiaries – Marie Curie, Hospice UK and Carers Trust. 

“We know that the long-term continuity of our funding from year to year is very unusual and, especially at a time when so many other sources of their funding either disappeared or declined, our beneficiaries have emphasised that this is a key quality of the support we are able to give to them. It is something of which we are enormously proud,” added George Plumptre. 

The National Garden Scheme is looking ahead to 2022 with optimism and with the prospect of exciting expansion as, for the first time ever, the charity will be welcoming gardens opening in Northern Ireland and Guernsey.  

Commenting, Chairman Rupert Tyler said: “We will do our utmost to increase the support we are able to give our beneficiary charities and we are sure that anyone who reads our 2021 Impact Report that accompanies this donation news, will see just how impactful a garden visit to a National Garden Scheme garden can be for all of us.”

National Garden Scheme donations in 2021 
For details of how donations are spent please refer to the Impact Report 2021 – an online version can be found here  

* Nursing and Health beneficiaries:  
Marie Curie  £525,000 
Macmillan Cancer Support  £500,000 
Hospice UK   £500,000 
Carers Trust  £425,000 
The Queen’s Nursing Institute  £395,000 
Parkinson’s UK  £212,500
Total  £2,557,500

Gardens and Health beneficiaries:
Maggie’s  £100,000 
Horatio’s Garden  £75,000 
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity  £60,000 
Total  £235,000  

Support for gardeners:
Perennial  £115,000 
WFGA  £65,000 
National Botanic Garden of Wales  £20,000 
Professional Gardeners’ Trust  £20,000 
Garden Museum  £10,000 
Total  £230,000  

Total including Community Gardens Award  


Support for community gardens:

Due to lockdown restrictions and the difficulty of accessing sites and supplies the Community Gardens Award grants were suspended in 2021 allowing grantees time to complete the work on the 44 projects funded in 2020, the last £7,772 of these grants was paid in 2021.  Applications for Community Gardens Award grants, that will receive funding in spring 2022, were relaunched in November 2021. You can apply here

Thank you

Ending the year on such a positive note is a matter of great pride for everyone at the National Garden Scheme and our Impact Report 2021 reflects the extraordinary contributions we have been able to make even in a year of continuing crisis. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year and we hope you enjoy reading our Impact Report which sets out all that our supporters, volunteers, garden owners and visitors have helped us achieve. 

Read the full Impact Report here

Donations in previous years: 

2019 –  £3,106,208
2020 – £2,884,710
2021 –  £3,030,272


– Ends – 

Lead image: Patient enjoying horticultural therapy at Horatio’s Garden London & South East copyright: Russell Sach. The National Garden Scheme has committed to fund the completion of all eleven Horatio’s Gardens as part of their overall programme of giving.


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Our donations in 2023

Donor 1
Donor 2 £450,000
Donor 3 £450,000
Donor 4 £450,000
Donor 5 £425,000
Donor 6 £350,000
Donor 7 £350,000
Donor 8
Donor 9 £100,000
Donor 10 £90,000
Donor 11 £80,000
Donor 12 £281,000
Donor 13 £260,000