Harrogate’s Award-Winning Park

FOVG Yorkshire Rose
Friends Pages
Pasted Graphic 1

Here you will find everything you need to know relating to the current and future activities of Friends of Valley Gardens Harrogate as well as important current information about Valley Gardens.
FOVG are a registered charity number 1148369 and we are supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

You Can Now Follow FOVG on:
_________________________Pasted Graphic 4___________Twitter
_________________________Pasted Graphic 3___________Facebook
________________Pasted Graphic 7______Instagram (for Friends of Valley Gardens)
_________________________Pasted Graphic 8__________Instagram (for Japanese Garden Restoration)

Harrogate Rock Choir to Perform: Please join us!




FROM 12.00 - 1.00pm





Seventh Annual Fabulous 1940s Open Day to be Held in Valley Gardens on 18th June:
FOVG is pleased to announce that the seventh annual 1940s Open Day in Valley Gardens will be held on 18th June. Please plan now on joining us for this fantastic event. Last year we had approximately 30,000 visitors. Let’s make this year even bigger! Please click on the image below to download a flyer.
2017 40s Day Flyer
List of Events and Bandstand Programme
10.30am March of Evacuee Children from Valley Gardens Main Gate led by the Mayor of Harrogate, Harrogate Band, Western School and visiting children plus accompanying adults. (40s Dress preferred but not essential)
11.00 Official Opening by Mayor of Harrogate
11.10 Western School
11.30 Harrogate Band
Midday Major Swing and Kitty
1.00pm Maria Manchester
2.15-3.00 Echo42 Band
3.15 Harrogate Harmony Barbershop Chorus
4.00-5.00 Echo 42 Band

Event Compared by Major Swing
Fly Past by Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (confirmed - details to follow).

To see photos of past events, please click

All funds raised will be put towards the
restoration of the Green Park Entrance. We are over halfway to meeting our £60K target.

For further details, please contact Jane Blayney (Chairman Friends of Valley Gardens)
01423 505231, 07794583888, email

Volunteers Needed for 40s Day:
We look forward to seeing you Sunday 18th June for FOVG’s 7th 40sDay. Volunteers for the Pump Room, Information Tent, Cake Stall, and Tombolla for any period of time from an hour to the whole day(with breaks) are very welcome. Donations to the Cake Stall and Tombolla are also very welcome. We sold 70 cakes last year and netted £2,000 on that stall. Volunteers to collect bucket monetary donations are also needed. For further details, please contact Jane Blayney (Chairman Friends of Valley Gardens) 01423 505231, 07794583888, email jane.blayney23@gmail.com

All funds raised will be put towards the
restoration of the Green Park Entrance. We are over halfway to meeting our £60K target.

Valley Gardens Head Gardner, Simon Collier, to Raise Funds by Walking Along Hadrians Wall: HBC’s head gardener in Valley Gardens, Simon Collier, accompanied by his dog, Russell, Simon's brother, Michael, and good friend, Steve, are to walk 84 miles spanning the length of Hadrian's Wall from Bowness to Wallsend. The walk, which will be completed from 19th - 24th July, is to raise money to be divided equally between FOVG and Starbeck in Bloom. Stray FM will be monitoring his progress.

If you would like to support Simon, please contact Jane Blayney (Chairman Friends of Valley Gardens), 01423 505231, 07794583888, email jane.blayney23@gmail.com.

Pasted Graphic

Future FOVG Meetings: We have been well served by St Peter’s Church enabling our past meetings to take place centrally. However, we now have the opportunity for a change and the next two meetings will be held in the Jubilee Room of the Bramall Centre, RHS Harlow Carr at 10.00 am on Saturday, 21 October for the General Meeting and on Saturday, 3 March 2018 for the AGM. The arrangements include FREE ACCESS to Harlow Carr Gardens after each meeting!
We look forward to seeing you.

FOVG Community Events: FOVG has recently seen a visit by Santa and a number of Elves on 18th Dec and also the Easter Bunny on 16th April when we held and Easter Egg Treasure Hunt at the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room.

Pasted Graphic
Santa with Elves

Pasted Graphic 1

On Saturday 15 April, 2017, the Friends were host to two artists from New Zealand who were exhibiting at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show. They received a guided tour of Valley Gardens.
Pasted Graphic 2
Visitors from New Zealand with Jane Blayney in the New Zealand Garden

FOVG has also supported the Harrogate Spring Flower Show where our stand promoted 'Rooting for Harrogate', our bid to become Champion of Champions in 2017 Britain in Bloom, and the Yorkshire Business Market.

Pasted Graphic 3
Jon and Steve (FOVG Publicity Officers) at the Spring Flower Show, Harrogate, 2017

Jane Blayney (Chairman Friends Of Valley Gardens) and Jon Iddon (Publicity Officer)
at the Yorkshire Business Market, The Pavilions, Harrogate, March, 2017

Ladies from “Starbeck Off Shoots” were given a guided tour of Valley Gardens on 28th April, 2017. The tour was led by Jane Blayney, Chairman Friends Of Valley Garden.

FOVG to Develop Heritage Walks in Valley Gardens: FOVG will shortly be developing Heritage Walks for people of all ages and abilities in Valley Gardens. More information will be promulgated as details are developed.

FOVG Newsletter: The latest edition of our newsletter, the Albatross, is now available. You can download a copy by clicking on the link below. Past editions are also available:

FOVG AGM Held on 16 March 2017: The AGM was held on 16th Mar in the Brostoff Community Center, St Peter’s Church, Harrogate. It was followed by a talk given by celebrated local historian Malcolm Neesam entitled “The Story of Harrogate’s Parks and Gardens”. Please click here for more information.

Peat Garden and Old Magnesia Well Pump Room Win Platinum Award in 2016 Yorkshire in Bloom and Also the 2016 Harrogate in Bloom Shield: FOVG are delighted to announce that we received a Platinum award (the top one) in the Open Spaces category for the Peat Garden and Old Magnesia Well Pump Room Project. We also received the 2016 Harrogate in Bloom Shield. These are great results and we send a big thank you to all of you who have helped on this project and continue to maintain the garden and the pump room. This is a testament to all your hard work. To learn more about this project and our entry, please click here.

Liz Chidlow, FOVG Garden Volunteer Organiser,
receives the Yorkshire In Bloom Parks and Open Spaces
Award 2016 on behalf of FOVG.

FOVG’s Current Projects: With the completion of the restoration of the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room and Gardens, FOVG is now pursuing two new projects:
  • Restoration of the Japanese Garden led by Ann Beeby and Liz Chidlow. To view the draft plan, click here.
  • Restoration of the Green Park Entrance to the Gardens led by David Mason
To learn more about these projects, please click here. If you would like to make a donation, please click on the button below.

Old Magnesia Well Pump Room Open Twice Every Month: The fully restored Old Magnesia Well Pump Room is now open twice each month on the first and third Sundays of the month from 10.00am to 3.30pm. Please drop by for a visit. Openings can be arranged for groups or for private showings by contacting our Chairman, Jane Blayney at jane.blayney23@gmail.com or by phone at 07794583888.

Tours of Valley Gardens and Presentations are Now Available: Friends of Valley Gardens are now offering tours of Valley Gardens and the Old Magnesia Pump Room as well as the sites of our current projects. We also provide presentations to community groups about Valley Gardens. The following informative presentations are now available to be booked:
  • “Restorations Completed and Being Undertaken” by Jane Blayney. Please call 07794 583 888
  • “East Meets West Through Japanese Gardens” by Ann Beeby. Please call 07966 729 299
Thanks to the HBC Small Grant Fund for their award of £818.89 which has enabled us to purchase a projector and screen to assist with these informative presentations. The possession of a FOVG owned projector and screen will much enhance our outreach services in the form of presentations to the community.

If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please contact our Chairman, Jane Blayney at
jane.blayney23@gmail.com. Tours can accommodate all types of groups. We have hosted both the Brownies and the History Society as well as the groups shown in the photos below. All proceeds are applied towards the restoration, maintenance, and refurbishment of Valley Gardens.

Pasted Graphic 5 Pasted Graphic 6
Recent tour for the Leeds Paxton Friday Forum lead by Jane Blayney

Pasted Graphic
Tour for Shaun Kiddell, Parks Policy Adviser, Heritage Lottery Fund led by Jane Blayney

International Visitors to the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room: Our Old Magnesia Well Pump Room is developing a world-wide following. Since the building was opened periodically during the refurbishment process starting in 2011, we have welcomed visitors from all over the UK as well as from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and the states of California, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin in the USA.

FOVG Gardening Group: If you are interested in helping with the maintenance of the gardens within Valley Gardens, you will be pleased to know that FOVG has a volunteer gardening group. Please contact Liz Chidlow at liz.chidlow@hotmail.co.uk to be kept informed of future activities.

FOVG Leaflet Available: FOVG have developed a leaflet about the organisation. Click here to download your copy. (It is a large file so please be patient.)

Pasted Graphic 1