Staff are allowing visitors to take plants away from the gardens of this Yorkshire stately home

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York stately home Beningbrough Hall is holding the ultimate horticultural free-for-all.

Visitors to the National Trust attraction will be allowed to remove plants from the gardens ahead of a major rejuvenation of the grounds.

The gardens at Beningbrough Hall

The gardens at Beningbrough Hall

The charity are asking for only a small donation in return - and have called the opportunity a 'horticultural event'.

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It's part of an event on Wednesday October 16 and Thursday October 17 in which volunteers are invited to help the gardeners lift plants from the Italian borders.

The project is the third stage in a major transformation of the Beningbrough gardens. A new Mediterranean garden designed by Andy Sturgeon will be laid out.

All of the redundant plants will be available to take home.

Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall

Meet the gardeners who look after Yorkshire's stately homes
Beningbrough's head gardener Sam Shipman said:-

“It’s exciting to be preparing for the next phase for the gardens and great to be able to involve visitors. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee which plants or how many will be available to take home over the two days. Think of it as a horticultural tombola!”

Volunteers are welcome from 11am-4pm and are advised to bring gardening gloves and sturdy footwear. Dogs are not allowed.

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History of Beningbrough

Beningbrough is a Georgian mansion that overlooks the River Ouse.

There is a grand carriage drive and a walled garden, and the mansion is home to 100 works of art on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. Visitor facilities include a restaurant, shop, , play area and garden shop.

It was built in 1716 for John Bourchier and remained in the family until 1827, when it passed to William Dawnay, a distant relative who became Viscount Downe. His son inherited it but the house was neglected until 1916, when a wealthy heiress called Enid Scudamore-Stanhope, Countess of Chesterfield, bought and restored it.

The hall was occupied by the RAF during World War Two, and after Lady Chesterfield died in 1957 it was donated to the National Trust.