A Mid-Hampshire festival devoted to a salad vegetable has raised an unbe-leaf-able sum for a children’s charity.

Revellers have been thanked for eating their greens as the 20th Alresford Watercress Festival was a record-breaker with more than 18,000 people attending.

The town centre event also raised £5,837 for Abby’s Heroes with more than 4,000 bags of watercress being handed out in a return for a donation.

The charity also received a tasty sum from Season Cookery School as people were given a lesson in cooking the perfect burger during the Big Green Egg BBQ session at Lainston House.

Abby’s Heroes is a Southampton-based charity founded in 2019 to ease the financial burden on parents with a child receiving treatment for cancer.

In the UK one child in 500 will develop some form of cancer by the age of 14 and treatment can be required for months and more often years. 

The money raised will help more families in need of support through grants for rent or mortgage payments and everyday living costs while their child is in hospital or for funeral expenses.

Jane Wilmshurst and Sally Randall from Abby’s Heroes recently visited Manor Farm to collect the cheque from festival organisers, with the good cause continuing to be the event’s official charity in 2025.

Sally said: “We can’t thank the organisers and attendees enough for their generosity. 

“Raising such a large sum from one event is an excellent achievement to all the hard work that goes into making the festival such a success every year.”

“We are really chuffed to have been chosen again as next year’s charity”

“I’d like to say a special thank you to Tom at the Watercress Company for his support and enthusiasm – and of course the watercress! Here’s to 2025 and another fantastic festival!”

by Cui Pan