A family-run Garden Centre has been sprinkled with some fundraising fairy magic, as its novelty poolside fairy trail raises almost £7,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in six years.

WM Wheat and Son garden centre, in Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield, is proud of its enchanted fairy trail which sits in the woodland alongside neighbouring Bourne Pool. The trail, which is made up of over 20 themed displays of ornamental fairies, gnomes, trolls and their houses, began as two humble fairy dwellings created by a local nursery in 2017, but since then, the fairy community has grown, thanks to the hard work of the garden centre staff, including Fairy Ambassador, Wendy Allsop.

As Wendy and other colleagues expanded the fairy trail for visitors and walkers to enjoy, they realised that they’d created a fundraising opportunity and, after the tragic leukaemia diagnosis and subsequent passing of a child in Wendy’s friendship circle, she presented Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity as the nominated cause.

Now the poolside trail boasts a fairy ballet school and even a fairy pub, while displays of gnomes tell the story of the historic Bourne Pool it sits beside. With a maze, photo opportunities and other interactive sections, the trail attracts visits from families, schools and other groups who enjoy throwing coins into a dedicated wishing well and slotting cash into the five-foot fairy lighthouse to support Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Young visitors are also invited to share and attach their wishes, thoughts and concerns to a wishing tree, a tool that has proven invaluable for helping children speak out about their worries.

Wendy said: “The poolside fairy trail has become quite an attraction at the garden centre and it brings so much happiness, not only to visitors, but to all our colleagues too. So many of us feel a strong connection with Birmingham Children’s Hospital for various personal reasons, so it means a huge amount to be able to support the charity continuously with our visitors’ kind donations.

“When we started the trail all those years ago, we never thought we’d be close to reaching the milestone of £7,000, yet here we are. It’s fan-fairy-tastic!”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We love to hear about the different and creative ways our supporters fundraise for us and the success of WM Wheat and Son’s enchanting poolside fairy trail is exactly that!

“As well as bringing joy to their visitors, the funds the fairy trail has raised so far will have brought joy to countless children in our hospital’s care, as their support helps us do more for our sick kids and their families by supporting their experience and treatment.”