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York cyclist stops off at 15 NGS gardens during 51-mile charity ride

Ian Savage reaches the top of the drive at Wold Top Brewery

We were delighted that Ian chose to finish his challenging ride at the brewery. Here's the story of his fantastic achievement...

A cyclist from York went the distance on two wheels to raise awareness of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and Parkinson’s UK.

Ian Savage, a corporate relationships manager for Parkinson’s UK from Foxwood in York, pedalled his way round 15 NGS gardens in North and East Yorkshire covering a total of 51 miles in just under eight hours during the annual NGS Festival Weekend.

This year, over 400 gardens in England and Wales welcomed visitors to raise money for the NGS, a charity committed to supporting nursing and caring charities, and nine gardens opened to visitors in Yorkshire over the Festival Weekend at the beginning of June.

Ian began the ride in Hornsea stopping off at gardens including Orchard House in Leven and Mansion Cottage in Bempton. He was joined in the afternoon by NGS garden owner Mike Swann, and his son, for a 20-mile circular route, finishing at Hunmanby Grange, Wold Newton, also home to Wold Top Brewery.

NGS assistant county organiser for North Yorkshire Gill Mellor, who lives at Hunmanby Grange, said Ian’s idea was a spectacular way to raise awareness of the two charities.

“We’re really pleased Ian stopped off at our garden. It was a great end to our festival weekend at Hunmanby Grange, and hopefully a memorable destination for him to finish his route – he certainly earned his pint of beer as his challenging ride finished with a mile long drag up the drive to Hunmanby Grange.

“It’s tremendous to see people as dedicated as Ian is, challenging and pushing themselves for a great cause.”

Visitors to Hunmanby Grange raised £3500 for NGS and £785 for Burton Fleming church over the Festival Weekend.

Ian said he was inspired to take up the cycling challenge after his manager, Paul Jackson-Clark, cycled around 15 open gardens in London to raise awareness of both the NGS and Parkinson’s UK last year.

“I wanted to do this cycling challenge in Yorkshire as a way of saying thank you to the NGS on behalf of the beneficiary charities, one of which is Parkinson’s UK,” he said. “I hoped it would raise awareness of the NGS and the fantastic fundraising they do for so many wonderful good causes. The fact we raised money for Parkinson’s UK along the way, makes it even better!

“There were some challenging moments, especially when I was faced with the hill heading up to Hunmanby Grange, and the wind was blowing in my face, but Gill and her husband, Tom, were there to welcome us at the end – and the beer was nice too.

“I had a fantastic day with wonderful weather, and met some great NGS volunteers, all of whom were extremely supportive.”

Ian is now thinking about planning another sponsored cycle ride in Yorkshire next year.

The NGS supports nine beneficiary charities including Parkinson’s UK and the scheme has donated over £45 million to support many charities since its inception in 1927.

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