Garden Museum’s sponsored swim appeal

Garden Museum Director, Christopher Woodward, will be stepping into the Atlantic to swim 50 miles from Newlyn to the gardens at Tresco, to raise funds to rescue Britain’s only museum of gardens from the Covid-19 crisis.

The sponsored swim takes place from 8th to 14th October 2020 and the Museum are looking for donations to help them survive over this difficult period. They need £370,000 to survive and with 800 individual donations received so far they are half-way there.

Recently, an anonymous Foundation has pledged to match your donations pound for pound (up to a maximum gift by the Foundation of £100,000) and is obviously a huge step towards the target of £370.000. This new match-funding means that each donation, no matter how big or small, is doubled in value and gets the appeal closer to its target.

Swimming from Newlyn in Cornwall to Tresco, on the Isles of Scilly, Christopher’s route will retrace a journey made by the painter-gardener Cedric Morris, one of the Museum’s ‘patron saints’ in 1950. Morris’ garden at Benton End in Suffolk was celebrated in one of the Garden Museum’s most popular exhibitions to date two years ago. In the winter of 1950 he shut up the Art School he had established at Benton End and sailed from Newlyn (the artists’ colony where he had lived in the 2910s) to Tresco.

Woodward is obviously delighted at the match funding: “I couldn’t believe it when I read a message from a Foundation to say that they would match each gift from now up, pound for pound. It’s the kind of gift you dream about. We are the only Museum – in London, at least – with a collection and archive of such uniqueness and a schools and community programme on this scale and diversity to exist without public funding towards operations, a founder’s Endowment, or a bigger institution behind us. It’s just us, our visitors and Friends, and the Museum we have built.

The Garden Museum is housed in the de-consecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth and contains the burial place of John Tradescant, the first gardener and plant hunter in British History. The Museum celebrates British gardening through its collections, temporary exhibitions, events and visits.

Further information about the Museum can be found at
You can donate to the sponsored swim via:

Photo credit: The Garden Museum at night credit Hamish Irvine Photography