A-maze-ing pancake flipping launches 'hedge-fund' appeal

Gardeners at Glendurgan think their 180-year-old labyrinth is so a-maze-ing they have launched a fundraising appeal to pay for maintenance work.

Garden manager Jon O'Donoghue. Picture: Steven Haywood/National Trust
Garden manager Jon O'Donoghue. Picture: Steven Haywood/National Trust

The National Trust garden near Falmouth in Cornwall wants to raise £50,000 to ensure the vigorous cherry laurel, Prunus laurocerasus maze can stay open to the public.

And because it is Shrove Tuesday, they decided to flip pancakes to mark the launch.

The top priority is to improve the condition of the hedges by cutting out dead-wood and promoting new growth from the cherry laurel plants. Additional work includes wear-and-tear repairs to paths and steps

If successful the team at Glendurgan plan to use the £50,000 ‘hedge fund’ to pay for further in-depth work to the hedges as well as the ongoing maintenance for the next 30 years.

Glendurgan Manager Jon O’Donoghue said: "Shrove Tuesday is an excellent day to launch our appeal. It’s great fun flipping pancakes in such and quirky and special place and a lovely way to start our fundraising.

"At least twice in living memory the maze has had to be closed to visitors for restoration so we’re desperately keen to avoid that by acting now.  We’re aiming to cover the costs of looking after the maze for 30 years – beyond that, we’ll need to review what sort of care our much-loved puzzle needs."

Gardeners cut the hedges at least twice a year – depending on weather conditions. It takes at least three hours for four people to cut the maze with battery-powered trimmers but it takes up to a day to clear up all the trimmings.

Former owners of the property Alfred and Sarah Fox, together with their gardeners, took inspiration for the design of the maze from a larger version in the Sydney Gardens in Bath, which no longer exists.  

The Glendurgan team have a copy of its original plan. Many of the cherry laurel hedges are likely to contain the plants originally established by the Foxes when they created the maze for their twelve children back in the 1830s.


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