Some of the area’s most spectacular private gardens will be open for public viewing over the next few weeks.

This year's National Garden Scheme (NGS) will include properties in Godmanchester, Staploe and Molesworth and Ramsey Forty Foot.

The NGS announced last week that it was donating a record £3.1 million to charity from the proceeds of past events. Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie and Hospice UK all received £500,000. The NGS supports nursing charities and has 3,700 gardens across the UK signed up to the scheme. Members of the public pay an entry fee to look around the garden and then enjoy some tea and cake.

Here are the local gardens in Huntingdonshire, but a full list is available on the NGS website.

Island Hall, Godmanchester, PE29 2BA, three acres of garden with a tranquil riverside setting and mature trees. A Chinese bridge over the mill race leads to an island with wild flowers. Open Sunday May 27, from 11am-4.30pm. Cost is £4 and home-made teas are available.

Old Farm Cottage, Staploe, near St Neots, PE19 5JA. Three acres of orchard, grassland, young woodland and pond maintained for wildlife with a flower garden round a thatched house. Plus, falling water house, a mature woodland garden with meandering paths through courtyard, kitchen garden and borders planted to attract bees and wildlife. Open over the weekend of May 26/27 from 1pm till 5pm. Homemade teas available. Cost is £4.

The Old Rectory at Molesworth, PE28 0QD. Molesworth House is an old rectory garden with everything that you would expect, given its Victorian past. There are surprising corners to this traditional take on a happy and relaxed garden. Plus, Yew Tree Cottage, an informal garden with flowers, vegetables and copse. Lots of pots and hanging baskets. Open on June 10. Homemade teas available. The open day is part of the Molesworth and Brington open gardens event, from 2pm till 6pm.

Ramsey Forty Foot Gardens, PE26 2YA. There are four gardens to visit on June 10, from 2pm till 6pm and cost is £3.

The Elms - a large garden with water-filled former clay pits, full of wildlife and backed by massive elms. A good collection of interesting plants. First Cottage, a colourful cottage garden with a miniature steam railway. The Willows, a riverside cottage garden with lovely old roses and herbaceous beds. Lake View House, a lakeside lawn with home made teas and gentle background music.

INFO: For more information and to see a full list of all the gardens, go to: www.ngs.org.uk.