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Co Tyrone gardens to open in support of conservation

A glimpse of Sir Bob and Lady Salisbury's 17-acre gardens which will be open to the public on Saturday. Credit: Woodland Trust

Two spectacular Co Tyrone gardens are set to open their leafy gates to the public in support of the conservation work of the Woodland Trust.

An open day will be held on Saturday from 11am to 5pm at the locations in Omagh and Newtownstewart, with all proceeds going to the conservation charity.

“Both gardens, while quite different, are equally stunning and the only challenge will be deciding which one to visit first,” Janette Wickens, Regional Development Officer for the trust, said.

“Thankfully, they’re fairly close to one another, so you can easily make a day of it."

She added: “From perfectly manicured lawns to wildlife-friendly landscapes, this is a chance to enjoy a breath of fresh air in the most peaceful and enviable of settings.”

The 17-acre garden at The Fod on the Drumconnelly Road near Omagh is owned by Sir Bob and Lady Salisbury, who have worked hard to transform the previously bleak site into a natural paradise.

With formal gardens, wildlife-friendly gardens, an orchard and small lakes, the landscape provides a refuge for nearly 60 species of birds and a host of animals including Irish hares and otters.

A few years ago, some 5,000 trees were planted and already tower over the tallest of walkers.

A glimpse of Uel Henderson's gardens which will be open to the public on Saturday. Credit: Woodland Trust

Meanwhile, the two-acre site at The Old Methodist Manse on the Moyle Road in Newtownstewart is owned by Uel Henderson.

The beautiful gardens have been 40 years in the making and features dazzling stretches of over 70 different types of rhododendrons, plus hosts of azaleas, magnolias and bluebells.

The idyllic surroundings also include a stream and tiny waterfalls lined with water-loving plants.

With summer just around the corner, both gardens are in full bloom and visitors are in for a riot of colour, scents and sounds.

Uel Henderson, pictured with his dog Josie, enjoys the sunshine in his beautiful gardens. Credit: Woodland Trust

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