Greetings to everyone who has noticed the works that went on over at Belvedere Park opposite our Community Centre during the COVID lockdown period. We just wanted to expand a bit on why the work was done and when it will be finished
A tiny bit of Garden History
As some of you may remember, the garden was first revamped along with the centre back in 2011 based on a design by our then Sensory Garden Committee.
Unfortunately due to a large amount of asbestos found in the Community Centre at the time of the refurbishment, some funds allocated to the garden had to be used to keep the centre works on track and as such the garden works were reduced somewhat, which included some preventative measures such as a top layer of finer grained tarmac (more resistant to weeds) etc.
Original Garden Centre Piece
The original design, whilst lovely, was extremely difficult and expensive to keep tidy
Why the redesign now?
One of the main issues in dealing with a complex garden design of quite a size is the maintenance; both in cost and labour.
Unfortunately, the garden is quite large and we have struggled to find volunteers to assist in it’s maintenance over the years, and our budget for maintenance can be quite constrained for such a small independent charity that solutions needed to be sought in order to keep it usable.
We are big fans of the original design, which was a passion project for our late friend and former committee member Ms Jenet Lockwood, and if we could’ve managed to keep it in the quality that it deserves, we probably would have.
The Sensory Garden Committee
The volunteer committee; all worked hard to make this project a reality.
Belvedere Park Launch in 2012
During the COVID lockdown, based on regular feedback regarding how run-down the garden was starting to look, we felt it was a great opportunity to consult with the community and see if there was a way to make it simpler, easier to maintain and more suitable for outside community use.
At this time we contacted the Big Lottery Awards 4 All scheme to see if we were able to get enough funding to redesign the garden within the lockdown period.
Thankfully, after a bit of difficulty getting tenders and quotes in during the COVID lockdown, we were successful in our application and works were able to begin.
When will it reopen?
There’s always work to be done, but due to delays with being able to seed the new grass and us not catching the seasons before the weather turned, we still have a bit to do in the way of reseeding during the spring to make sure the new grass takes hold, this is why the garden remains closed at present.
Belvedere Park 2022
Reseeding will be done shortly and we will look to reopen the park very soon. We hope to run events and invite others to also hold outdoor activities in the new space.
Part of the benefits of the redesign are that it is much better suited for us (and other groups) to hold external activities when the weather is nice.
If COVID has taught us anything is that we must appreciate the outside spaces when we have them and that’s what we’re trying to do with Belvedere Park… make it somewhere that is more usable for the community.
As always we will try and keep you updated as things progress.
Thanks for your patience and understanding
The Castleland Team
If you fancy yourself a bit of a greenthumb, don’t mind a bit of weeding, or even if you’re interested in running something in the garden let us know