Virtual tour of country estate raises nearly £1k for local charities

Haughley Park has raised nearly £1,000 for charity after a “virtual” tour through its beautiful grounds inspired generous donations during lockdown.

The private estate, near Stowmarket, commissioned the online project after its annual Bluebell Sunday fundraising events were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new “Virtual Bluebell Sunday” offers a bird’s eye view of the parkland, a “stroll’ through the carpet of blue in the woods and a tour of the ornamental gardens – allowing people to still enjoy the beautiful grounds while unable to visit in person.

Haughley Park owner, Robert Williams, said: “Our Bluebell Sundays have taken place for more than 80 years and we were very sad to have to cancel them. The grounds look so beautiful in spring and this virtual tour has allowed us to share them with everyone while still raising money for charity.”

The open days have traditionally raised funds for St Mary’s Church, in Wetherden, but this year’s special event also supported the East Anglian Air Ambulance in recognition of their life-saving work during the current crisis. A total of £947.18 – including Gift Aid – was donated.

Mr Williams added: “We hope this online tour has brought people a little reminder of the joys of spring during this difficult time.”

The fundraising period has now finished but the film is still available to view on the website:

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