Back in 2011 when we completed the original works for Belvedere Park, it was the culmination of a lot of hard work from a dedicated volunteer committee from as early as 2005, whereby a disused wasteland (formerly a nursery) would be transformed into a sensory hybrid greenspace for all to use.
Flashforward to 2021 and the garden has been looking a little worse for wear so much so that we decided to see if there was a way to do the following:
When the second COVID lockdown was implemented and with the centre closed, we knew we finally had some time to look at making a redesign possible.
After consulting local users and getting their feedback we decided to put in an application to the national lottery to obtain the money we needed to perform the changes, and thankfully we managed to get the funding earlier this year.
We weren’t, however expecting the pandemic to last as long as it has, which made obtaining quotes for the work very difficult. After a few rejections, no shows and cost prohibitive options we were really grateful that the original garden developers (Avian Gardening Services) became available to complete the works which began last week.
We love the original design, and honestly wish we could keep its raised areas and initial vision, but as a tiny charity that earns nothing from the garden itself we simply don’t have the available resources (manpower & financial) to do it justice and keep it well maintained each year.
In addition to this, the garden is quite large, but doesn’t allow for many people to use it at the same time. With a simplification we hope to enable more people to benefit from the garden as well as open it up for event use to generate income to improve and maintain it’s features.
From our consultation & feedback the one thing people thought would be beneficial is to have a larger lawn space where they could run outdoor exercise classes / events as well as have picnics etc.
So we have decided to honour that and make the garden a large bordered lawn, which helps keep maintenance costs lower whilst also allowing for future outdoor activities in a post-covid world.