What is Over Haddon Well Dressing?
Each year, Over Haddon’s Well Dressing volunteers pull off fantastic events – which sees them create beautiful displays as part of an ongoing annual tradition.
Well Dressing displays traditionally involve using natural materials, including seeds, fir cones and flower petals, to produce some sort of design based on a theme. These take weeks to put together but they bring much joy when they go on show in the village they have been created in.
In Over Haddon, money is raised for charity during the process and there is usually plenty of media coverage for the village’s Well Dressing event – including articles in the Peak Advertiser, Derbyshire Live and The Times.
2019 was a particularly special year because rubbish and litter dumped in our beautiful Derbyshire tourist hotspot were transformed into a work of art – to send a clear message to people not to spoil the countryside.
Food wrappers, plastic bottles and crisp bags were among items used to create the 2019 main Well Dressing display, entitled “Wasted”.
The design and ideas came from village resident Tricia Gillies, who said that she was keen to put over the message about how humans are spoiling the environment across the world.
She said: “We are causing a huge amount of harm to our wildlife with the amount of litter and waste we produce and dispose of badly.
“More than two million pieces of litter are dropped on Britain’s streets every day and this has increased by 500% since the 1960s. Plastic pollution is killing animals every minute and we all need to do our bit to improve the planet.
“In the Peak District National Park, it is estimated that 60 tonnes of rubbish is being removed from some of the most popular locations each year.
“Thankfully, many of the people who visit our village and Lathkill Dale take their rubbish home but we still managed to collect quite a bit for our well dressing.”
The main Well Dressing display is usually sited near the village’s historic pump in Wellgate Lane and overlooks beautiful Lathkill Dale, which is a popular haunt for walkers.
Meanwhile, a second well dressing is completed by the village’s young people and stands in the grounds of the village hall in School Lane.
Money for charity is raised through donations and the sales of teas, cakes and postcards.
Over Haddon Well Dressing volunteers take part in the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
In 2019, the village’s Well Dressing volunteers also participated in the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.
That year, they worked on a special design for the prestigious event at Chatsworth, which was held between June 5 and June 9. A total of 23 volunteers worked on the project, with many also giving up their spare time to man the display at the show and speak to visitors all about Well Dressing and how the design was put together.
Work on the Over Haddon Well Dressing event then started later in the month, with the village’s own spectacular running from June 22 to June 29.
Below are some pictures of the preparations for the display for Chatsworth, entitled The Five Senses:
Here are photos from the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show itself: