Meet the Waterways gardeners and get involved in restoration
MAKE sure you grasp the opportunity to get involved in the Waterways restoration. That's the message from the two gardeners appointed to help reinstate the planting scheme and care for the park into the future.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council, in partnership with Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, is progressing well on a flagship £2.7m project, supported by the National Lottery, to restore the Grade II-listed seafront attraction, including the Boating Lake.
As part of the wider restoration, gardeners Ian Guest and Duncan McKinnell have now joined the project - and they are seeking volunteers to join them over the coming months in reinstating the original beautiful and bold planting scheme, dating from 1928.
Head gardener Ian has worked in horticulture for 25 years and was previously head gardener at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden for 11 years, while Duncan has considerable experience working with volunteers.
Ian said: "We are both really excited about being involved from the start in this inspirational community project, which will bring so much to the whole borough. The gardens will improve year-on-year as the plants mature and bloom.
"Gardening is a great therapeutic activity, and volunteering is a chance to meet new people, learn new skills, have fun and make new memories, while contributing to a lasting legacy for Great Yarmouth."
Assistant gardener Duncan said: "About 100 people have already registered to volunteer, which is great, and there's always room for more volunteers as we have around 6,500 plants to put into their beds over the coming months. The project also has a range of other exciting volunteering opportunities, so we encourage anyone interested to register through the website."
The project aims to involve the community in enhancing and interpreting a unique community facility, tourist attraction and heritage asset, supporting the local economy, boosting civic pride and providing people with meaningful opportunities to improve skills and access further training or employment.
Work is funded by a £1.7m National Lottery grant awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund, plus further support from the borough council, New Anglia LEP and the Government.
Cllr Barry Coleman, chairman of the council's economic development committee, said: "The planting scheme was exhibited at the 1928 RHS International Exhibition of Garden Design, where it was considered bold for moving away from familiar seaside bedding and instead using perennials and annuals in drifts.
"The gardens are an important part of the Waterways, so helping to replant the original scheme is a special way to get involved and revive some of our special heritage. Even if you are not able to volunteer, there are other ways to get involved in the restoration including through sponsorship of plaques, benches or sundials - or even adopt-a-plant."
Discover more about volunteering opportunities and register at www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/waterwaysproject-volunteer To enquire about sponsorship opportunities and adopt-a-plant, email Alison Hall via email@example.com @WaterwayProject