THE English Country Garden Festival held at Coombe Trenchard, Lewtrenchard, welcomed a fantastic footfall of 3,000 visitors across the two days, June 1 and 2, despite earlier concern following the removal of their advertising signs by West Devon Borough Council.

The festival was in hot water a few weeks before the event, after they were contacted by West Devon Borough Council’s environmental protection department who advised them that due to a recent clamp down the signs the festival had erected to promote the event required planning permission and would need to be removed.

But a set back like this wasn’t going to faze the festival organisers who put out an ‘SOS’ on social media.

The local community got behind the festival following its SOS regarding the placement of its festival signs and in no time at all the festival received more than 40 offers of help from local people within a ten mile radius of Lewdown, meaning the festival organisers were able to relocate all of its beautiful signs to private property. A festival spokesperson said: “The help we received from the community certainly helped us spread word of this year’s festival even further and demonstrates that West Devon is 100% behind local enterprise and community charity events like ours.”

So, despite a false start the festival, now in its eighth year, came up trumps welcoming a record number of visitors through its gates. There were more than 80 exhibitors over the two days providing visitors with plant and gardening products and advice, vintage home and garden treasures as well as artisan products and locally produced ale, cider and gin and one cannot forget the delicious range of lunches, homemade cakes and foodie stalls.

The organisers were delighted to welcome Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, aka The Black Farmer, along to promote his new venture ‘Single Estate Devon Cheese’ with Chris Budge of The Kitcham Brothers cheese.

Charities from the region were also invited to exhibit as part of their outreach programmes, and the 2019 festival was pleased to welcome Children’s Hospice South West, Paws2Freedom, Made-Well, The Peredur Trust and Send a Cow.

Following the successful festival Coombe Trenchard owner and festival host Sarah Marsh said: “Our 2019 festival was a resounding success, with over 3,000 visitors enjoying our gardens and the excellent quality range of exhibitors we were really proud to showcase.

“Children’s Hospice South West, were once again our main charity partner, serving delicious teas on the terrace to delight our visitors, and we’re very pleased they have been able to raise over £4,000 from the weekend, including donations.”