Centenary WOODLAND Garden

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. 

WGC Centenary Woodland Garden

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]

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WGc100 News

Sir Ebenezer Howard

EBENEZER HOWARD: A Birthday Tribute.

Sir Ebenezer Howard OBE was born 171 years ago on 29 January 1850. This tribute outlines his life and how he founded Welwyn Garden City.

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A photo of the WGC Centenary Fountain

Commemorating Our Centenary

The last year has been exceptionally challenging for us all, for our work, our family and our friends. Our much anticipated year of celebrations for Welwyn Garden City’s cententary could not take place as planned, which has been incredibly disappointing for everyone involved.

Our enthusiastic team of volunteers have worked since 2014 on our Signature Projects. Now we have reached the end of 2020 we have plenty to be proud of having achieved in celebration of what makes our town and community so special.

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Barn Theatre Sketch 1991

The Story of a Barn and a Theatre

This is the story of a barn and how it became a theatre in Welwyn Garden City. The theatre at the centre of the story is the Barn Theatre situated in Handside Lane and is today a renowned and respected place for amateur drama providing some 10 shows a year as well as other aspects of drama, giving the community quality alternatives to the big professional theatres in London and surrounding district.

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KS1 1st Place Photo Lockdown Rainbows

Schools’ Photographic Competition 2020

The WGC Centenary Schools Photographic Competition was the first event launched in 2017 to celebrate the centenary, organised by the WGC Photographic Club.

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100 years of Welwyn Garden City…and what the next 100 years hold in store

Discover Hertfordshire magazine, published by Archant, has published a lovely four page article in this quarter’s edition. Read the introduction here and view the digital version online. Words by Ellie Fells.

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Celebrating our City of Trees this autumn in our centenary year

One of the greatest pleasures of the town is the beauty and variety of the 19,000 trees in its streets and public places. Our City of Trees project is part of the centenary celebrations with four areas of the town chosen for their beauty and variety, some of which are seldom seen outside botanic gardens. What better time to explore and enjoy their beauty than autumn?

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Meet the Centenary Garden Team

Ann Aldridge - Part of the Centenary Garden Team

Ann Aldridge

Photo of Caroline Baynes, Board Member

Caroline Baynes

Angela Eserin - Part of the Centenary Garden Team

Angela Eserin

Trina Golland - Part of the Centenary Garden Team

Trina Golland

Jan North - Part of the Centenary Garden Team

Jan North

Caroline Roberts - Part of the Centenary Garden Team

Caroline Roberts

Fiona Robinson - Part of the Centenary Garden Team

Fiona Robinson


The Foundation can accept no responsibility for the organisation or regulation of any satellite events arranged to mark the centenary of Welwyn Garden City. This includes but is not limited to public liability insurance, health and safety issues (including risk assessments, Performance Licenses and safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults), transport, hiring of facilities, and any costs associated. The use of the Foundation name and logo does not infer any specific oversight or involvement of the Foundation unless stated.”