Friends to host a Christmas fair

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The Friends of Ashridge are hoping that shoppers will be beating a path to their door this weekend as they host the Ashridge At Christmas fair.

Local craft workers and producers will be setting up their stalls in and around the National Trust Visitor Centre by the landmark Monument, erected in 1832 to the Duke of Bridgewater, in recognition of his pioneering canal development.

Parking and entry are free, the Brownlow Café and the National Trust shop are open all day, and there will be plenty of opportunities for original present buying and even for an al fresco lunch.

The fair runs from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

The Friends are a group of volunteers with two purposes – to encourage people to give their time to support the Ashridge Estate and to raise funds for the maintenance of this treasured stretch of free-access countryside which stretches across 5,000 acres of woodlands, commons and chalk downland supporting a rich variety of wildlife and offering splendid walks through outstanding scenery.

Although it is now owned by the National Trust, the Estate is self-supporting, and funds are always needed for a host of items – from large pieces of forestry equipment, to mobility vehicles so the less able-bodied can enjoy the area.