Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

Fairhaven Garden Improves Visitor Access

Written by  Paul Dickson
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Fairhaven gardeners at work on phase two of the Main Bridges Path, left to right: John Debbage, Michael Hadji and Lewis Goldspink. Photograph credit Fairhaven Garden Fairhaven gardeners at work on phase two of the Main Bridges Path, left to right: John Debbage, Michael Hadji and Lewis Goldspink. Photograph credit Fairhaven Garden

The gardening team at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, has embarked on phase two of a 120-metre path renewal project in the West Garden, thanks to a successful Pound a Plank fundraising campaign. The aim is to complete the project by early February.

Phase one of the scheme was completed in May, but the gardeners needed a further £7,000 to finish the work. The money has been raised through Gift Aid donations added to the garden entry charge, Pound a Plank donations, collection boxes, a second hand book stall, and a grant from Broadland District Council.

The finished scheme will feature two passing bays for mobility scooters and visitors in wheelchairs. The passing bays will also include benches so visitors can rest and enjoy the sights and sounds of the garden.

Some 800 planks will cover the length of the main bridges path, with its six bridges. The planks are being set on top of telegraph poles to raise the level and protect the path from winter floods. The candelabra primula beds, running beside the path, are also being raised to give the plants similar protection and support the annual regeneration and growth of new plants from seed.

The project has been designed by Fairhaven Gardener, John Debbage and is being implemented by John, gardening colleague Michael Hadji and Easton College student, Lewis Goldspink. Lewis is studying Level 2 Horticulture and is doing his work experience at Fairhaven.

Broadland District Council's £1800 Community Fund grant is also supporting access work near the main entrance and on the neighbouring Kingfisher Path, along with improvements to visitor information in the garden.

Just over £1300 has been raised through Pound a Plank donations. The fund will remain open to support future projects in the garden. Donations of books are very welcome for the second hand book stall, which is in Fairhaven’s Kingfisher Tearoom.

Louise Rout, Manager Fairhaven Garden said: “I would like to thank Broadland District Council for supporting our work in the garden and everyone who has helped the scheme by donating a Pound a Plank and money through our gift aid scheme, collection boxes and second hand book stall. The main bridges path is looking terrific and when it is completed will greatly improve access for all.”

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is owned by the Fairhaven Garden Trust, whose key objectives are to care for the garden so that it can be enjoyed by this and future generations and to provide access for all.

The garden is at South Walsham NR13 6DZ, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, t. 01603 270449 www.fairhavengarden.co.uk.

Fairhaven is open daily all year (closed Christmas Day). The garden opens from 10am to 4pm during the winter; entry is £6.75 adult, £6.15 concessions, £3.85 child (under 5 free); free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.

There is wheelchair access throughout, including a Sensory Garden and an accessible boat for trips on the broad from April to October (additional charge). Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance, mobility scooters available.

Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

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Last modified on Sunday, 13 January 2019 15:27

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