New BBC TV show filmed on St Albans allotments

PUBLISHED: 12:33 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:33 04 June 2019

Helen Errington's allotment, where Worzel Gummidge is being filmed in St Albans. Picture: Helen Errington

Helen Errington's allotment, where Worzel Gummidge is being filmed in St Albans. Picture: Helen Errington

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Film crews for a new BBC TV show descended on a St Albans allotment yesterday.

A remake of the classic 1970s programme Worzel Gummidge, based on books of the same name by Barbara Euphan Todd, is set to return to the small screen this Christmas.

Mackenzie Crook has been cast as a scarecrow called Worzel who comes to life to make trouble on the fictional Scatterbrook Farm.

Production crews descended on a Highfield Park allotment on June 3 to film some episodes of the new series.

Joint owner of the allotment, Helen Errington, said: "They decided that they liked the Highfield Park Trust site because there are no buildings around and it is very rural in that respect.

"Of all the ones available, ours fitted the bill. It is tucked away in a corner, it has got a good background and neat rows of vegetables to give them the look they wanted.

"It has all been quite exciting."

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This is the first time in 15 years owning the plot that it has been used in this way, Helen said.

She said: "I am fascinated by the amount of work that goes into doing something like this. My allotment is big when we are trying to weed it but not big when you think of all the crews, cameras and everything that goes into something like a TV show.

"They have moved the stuff we have on the allotment, like netting and plastic sticks, so it looks natural rather than being cluttered with all the things we allotmenteers use to protect our crops from the birds, mice, deer and rabbits."

It has been reported that this new version of Worzel Gummidge will be closer to the Todd books than the previous TV adaption, which saw Jon Pertwee as the mischievous scarecrow.

That series ran to four seasons and also moved over to New Zealand.

Mackenzie Crook has previously appeared in The Office, Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Detectorists, and The Adventures of Tintin.

Helen has lived in St Albans for 20 years and describes herself as a keen gardener.

Highfield Park Trust is a charity which manages the grounds of two former hospitals - Cell Barnes and Hill End Mental Health. It manages two allotment sites and 82 plots.

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