A blooming good decade

The Duchess of Northumberland accepts the sclupture from Chairman of the Alnwick Garden volunteers Sue Simpson and  volunteer Margaret Whittaker who organised the presentation.
The Duchess of Northumberland accepts the sclupture from Chairman of the Alnwick Garden volunteers Sue Simpson and volunteer Margaret Whittaker who organised the presentation.

The Duchess of Northumberland has been presented with a special award by The Alnwick Garden’s volunteers.

The accolade, which is a bespoke 3D glass sculpture, was given to the Duchess to honour the work she has done since the attraction opened 10 years ago.

It was presented to her on Monday, in what was a surprise ceremony.

The sculpture has an exact representation of the Bamboo Labyrinth rock which reads ‘only dead fish swim with the stream’ at its core.

The award was funded by personal donations from the 96 current volunteers.

Presenting the Duchess with the award, Sue Simpson, volunteers’ chairman, said the Garden had become a ‘significant player in the tourist industry’ over the last 10 years.

“This is due to the generosity and commitment of one person who is sharing her vision with thousands of people on a daily basis and has always encouraged us to claim ownership of it,” Sue added.

“We, the volunteers, want to take this opportunity in the 10th year of the official opening to assure you of our commitment, support and appreciation of all you do.”

The volunteers scheme was set up in 2000 to give added support to the Garden but never to take a job that would be filled by a paid employee.