Centenary Woodland Garden
Plans are underway for a new Centenary Woodland Garden to be sited on the Campus, a prominent location in the town centre, creating a wonderful and beautiful community space and lasting legacy for everyone to enjoy.
The new woodland garden will be located adjacent to a well-used footpath that leads pedestrians walking to and from the town centre, to Campus West.
Following consultation with the WHBC Landscape Team and a former Capel Manor College design student, a unique design has been planned to create the new Woodland Garden. The concept has been inspired by trees, a major element in Sir Ebenezer Howard’s concept for a garden city.
The design, represents the shape of a large majestic tree formed by the roots, trunk and canopy located within the shade of existing mature trees. The space will be planted with woodland shrubs and plants, and lead to a number of raised beds in the existing woodland area. In other areas new raised beds will be created to elevate the plants selected, which will give a wide variety of horticultural interest, and plants selected where necessary to tolerate shadier and drier sections beneath the existing trees. The planting will be further complimented by large swaths of spring bulbs. The new garden will occupy an area of 800m2 with over 3,000 plants and bulbs.
An important element of the planting is to encourage wildlife. The current site generally comprises tight mown grass which supports limited plant diversity for pollinators and wildlife, with no associated woodland flora and is mainly bare earth caused by shading and current maintenance practices.
The proposed planting will significantly transform these barren areas by introducing a wide range of plant material and bulbs with an accent on flowering plants that will support many insect pollinators. General soil organic amelioration improvements, plants and density of new plants will further support many invertebrate and vertebrate species once established.
The garden designer, Gianna Utilini, studied garden design at Capel Manor College, a contributing partner on the project. Sustainability and biodiversity have always been a priority for Gianna. She approaches every planning scheme with the idea of creating a city to provide habitats beneficial for insects, from the earth moving worm population below the ground to the pollinators above and all the scuttling creatures in between. Her aim is to create tranquil spaces that people can nurture and engage with, enjoying nature’s natural wonders.
The design that Gianna has created has met the brief perfectly and is a fitting legacy project to mark the town’s 100th birthday. The new garden will create a major visual focus for all pedestrians using the walkway and accessing the space for recreation and will significantly improve and enhance the landscape diversity.
All the centenary plans are locally rooted and involve many volunteers who have been instrumental in developing and implementing the projects. We want to continue this by opening up the opportunity to develop a Centenary Woodland Garden volunteer group to support the development and maintenance of the garden going forward and as a further legacy for the centenary.
A lasting legacy
The garden will greatly enhance the existing space, bringing a totally new garden concept to the area, incorporating existing trees and creating new areas of planting and encouraging wildlife to the area. Information boards will be displayed within the garden providing information on the garden city concept and details on why the woodland garden is a fitting addition to the town – A true marriage of town and country.
If you are a local organisation or business and would like to explore opportunities for sponsorship of this lasting legacy, please contact our Fundraising Manager Catherine Farrell at [email protected]