The Friends of Arley is an association of members which organises exclusive talks and social gatherings in Arley Hall and excursions and visits to various places of interest. All these events raise money which helps to support the heritage aspects of the Estate. Members also have the opportunity to assist the Estate directly by volunteering in the gardens and on specific projects in the Hall.
To become a Friend of Arley dowload the application form below:
Friends of Arley benefits
• Evening events in Arley Hall – either illustrated talks by interesting speakers or programmes of music followed by drinks and canapes.
• Excursions – to places of interest, often not open to the general public.
• Free access – to the Gardens from 5.30pm until dusk on the first Tuesday of each month during the High season.
• Dining in the The Gardener’s Kitchen – special Table d’Hote menu on the first Tuesday of each month during the open season.
• Free entry to the Arley Garden Festival.
• 10% discount on tickets for daily entry only – Christmas Floral Extravaganza.
• Exclusive Christmas Party – in the beautiful rooms in Arley Hall for members only.
• Concessions and discounts – in the shop, the Plant Nursery and the Gardener’s Kitchen Cafe.
• Garden Parties for members only which are held from time to time in the family’s private gardens.
Opportunities of being a Friend of Arley
• The Friends Gardening Group meet once a week and work alongside the professional gardeners thus obtaining inside knowledge of how a world famous garden is maintained. This work provides a marvellous opportunity to increase your gardening skills & to make new friends.
• Every spring members of the Friends lead the extremely popular Estate & Bluebell Walks through the magnificent woods & round the Estate.
• Beautiful floral displays at the Garden Festival are created by members for all the rooms in the Hall. This is a particularly popular activity – we use some bought flowers but we also pick a lot in the Gardens so it is a marvellous opportunity to develop your artistic skills in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
• At the Garden Festival Friends also man the information point and run the very popular Plant Creche.
In addition to these regular activities there are often opportunities to take part in one-off projects. Over the last few years these have included:
• Cleaning the interesting leather-bound books in the Library.
• Making beautiful new kneelers for the Chapel to original designs based on the artistic features in the Arley Chapel.
• Clearing an attractive 19C footpath through the Big Wood.
• Moving snowdrops from the Big Wood to the Grove and Woodland Walk.
Heritage projects which have been financed by the Friends of Arley:
Every year the Friends of Arley raises a significant amount of money through its various events. This enables them to make grants to the Estate which have financed specific projects which are separate from the day to day maintenance of the Hall and the Estate. In recent years these projects have included:
• Purchasing a fountain for the pond in the Walled Garden in memory of Elizabeth Lady Ashbrook (in the image above)
• Repairs to some of the 18C walls in the garden
• Restoration of certain pictures in the Hall
• The refurbishment of the oak shutters in the Library and the Gallery