Sydney Gardens Project 
National Lottery Heritage Fund & B&NES Council
Park Restoration Project
November 2020
Elsie with her Hobby Horse, made from a kit designed by artist Aimee Corbett for a special project with children to celebrate the horsey heritage of Sydney Gardens with its historic 'Ride'.

We very much hope this e-news update finds you well. We're back in a second lockdown, but we have a lot to share ...

- Updates about the build
- Learn to Make A Bulb Lasagne with our gardening team
- Volunteering - can you help us make a newspaper?
- Tour Guiding Training
in anticipation of the future
- Hobby Horses and Nature Tots

Read about how the trees in the park connect the Cherokee Nation, a Chinese musical instrument and Victorian plant hunters
Watch a video celebrating our Heritage Open day weekender in 2019

And more....

Best wishes,
Sue Palmer, Community Ranger
Mali Kedward, Horticultural Participation Officer
Matt Watson, Horticultural Apprentice
Keith Rowe, Project Manager

Sydney Gardens Project Team, Parks Service, B&NES Council
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Follow us on Facebook @SydneyGardensBath
Construction and restoration update
How the park is affected
Building work continues on site delivered by Edgars. The foundations have been laid for the Community Pavilion behind the public loos. The Bothy - the old electricity sub station at the top of the park is nearly finished and will be used as a meeting point for volunteers and a store for gardening tools.

This photo shows the recent very careful extraction of a tree stump by the main entrance, that was sitting above some of the most powerful electricity cables running underground through Sydney Gardens, delivering power to Bath. 
The Tennis Courts at the top of the park are having the surfaces redone and new fencing installed. The work started last week and will continue until 7th December, although they may be ready sooner!

The courts will then be left open for ‘turn-up and play’ using temporary markings until the Spring. Once the weather is drier the courts will have their final coat of paint and new gates installed. The lower tennis courts will be refurbished next summer.
Sally Strachey Historic Conservation are delivering the Conservation Works Contract (Loggia/ Temple of Minerva/ Ruinette/ Ice Cream Kiosk).

Their schedule has been held up by other work as a knock on affect from the pandemic, and they expect to start work in the New Year in Sydney Gardens.
Network Rail are due to start working on the new fencing along the railway balustrade from Monday 9th November. They will set up a small works compound adjacent to the railway.
Covid-19 update and Sydney Gardens
Please follow the recent government guidance in relation to using the park and public green space during the current lockdown. Click here for updates from Bath & NE Somerset Council about Covid-19.

Our build programme has been delayed by the Covid pandemic by around six months and we anticipate it will continue to affect our schedule. Check the posters at the entrances and around the park - we update them monthly. 
Sydney Gardening Update

Mali Kedward, our Horticultural Participation Officer and Matt Watson, our Horticultural Apprentice, work in the park at least one day a week.

On Wednesday mornings from 10am to 11.30am, they work with a small group of volunteers in a Covid-secure gardening session. These have been suspended during the current lockdown, but if you're interested in volunteering, future gardening activities or conservation, please contact Mali Kedward.

How to Plant A Bulb Lasagne
Free Horticultural Training
Limited spaces  

Would you like a bit more colour in your garden? Mali and Matt can help you learn how to plant bulbs in 'lasagne style' layers to optimise your spring pot colour.  Participants will be provided with a pack, instructions and online support so that they can learn from the comfort of their own garden/balcony.

Packs are limited to people local to the park as participants will need to collect from Sydney Gardens on Wednesday 25th November (as part of your exercise).

Email Mali Kedward for all the details.
Celebrating Sydney Gardens
On our blog and in a new video!
One of our volunteers John Edwards has been doing a great job running our Medium blog site where we host memories, articles and history relating to Sydney Gardens.  

Read artist Bernard Ollis' memories of growing up around Sydney Gardens - the painting on the right is 'Sydney Gardens series - Boy and Dog'. Bernard Ollis' paintings were exhibited at the Victoria Art Gallery last year - he currently lives in Australia.

Read an in depth history of some of the trees in Sydney Gardens including the Giant Sequoia and the Catalpa Indian Bean Tree.  We commissioned the artist, researcher and academic Richard S White to investigate the wider heritage and historical context of selected trees in Sydney Gardens.  There are some truly magnificent trees in the park. How did they get here? What are the connections to other places around the world?

Remember The Parks Keepers' Model Railway display of Sydney Gardens? Did you see it? We hosted it in partnership with The Holburne for the Open Heritage Days weekend in 2019. 

One of the model makers was David Reed - here are his memories of trains running through the park.
In 2019, we partnered with the Holburne and the Friends of Sydney Gardens for a fun-filled Heritage Open Days weekender!  This short film that looks back at that lovely weekend in September 2019.
Volunteer with us!  Help make a special newspaper!
Do you love researching and collating?
Are you interested in the extraordinary history of the Pleasure Gardens as well as living memories?
Or perhaps you have some layout and design skills?

We're looking for volunteers to research and collate a special newspaper featuring articles, puzzles and entertaining facts about Sydney Gardens.

We're making a free newspaper that will be to sent out to older people in B&NES - if people can't get to the park, we're taking the park to them!

Get in touch with the Community Ranger - Sue Palmer - if you're interested in getting involved!
Tour Guiding Training
Online Workshop Training for interested volunteers

Interested in giving guided tours? Join Luke Scoging for this free online training (rescheduled from March 2020)

If you're interested in history and heritage, and want to know more about how to share information with the public, this is for you!
Friday 27th November from 10am - 12 noon

Currently, due to the Coronavirus social distancing guidance it is difficult to lead live guided tours. But they will be back in the future! This training will look at other options such as self-led trails, which follow a similar structure to a led tour.  It is specially for people who volunteer, or who are interested in volunteering, on the Sydney Gardens Project.

Book your free place here
Nature Tots returns to the park!
Outdoor Play Support Group, specially for single parents
We are restarting Outdoor Play 'Nature Tots' for Under 5's in the park. We are scheduled to start on Friday 27th November, with a block of 4 sessions for a support group, specially for single parents and their toddlers, or for those who would like to try outdoor play with their toddler, but for various reasons, have not had the chance to do so.  Please contact Sue Palmer the Community Ranger for more information.
Our Hobby Horse project with young people Celebrating the horsey heritage of Sydney Gardens
Through November, we've been running a special project with young people with artist Aimee Corbett - a Hobby Horse Make & Create! So far we've worked with Bath Home Educators and Bath Young Carers.

Children and parents collected free Hobby Horse making kits from us to make at home, and then joined an online puppetry and story telling workshop. We've had great feedback from the makers so far!
Aimee worked with theatre maker Tessa Bide for the online workshops. Our last session is this weekend.

Then we're inviting the young participants to gallop out to Sydney Gardens or their local park, and report back to us! We will be collecting their experiences and celebrating the historic Ride around Sydney Pleasure Gardens.
Mindfulness - get out into green space
for a self-led session in Sydney Gardens
Listen to the Sydney Gardens Mindfulness audio guide on Soundcloud

Go on a journey through Sydney Gardens in Bath, learning about and practicing Mindfulness, using a 40 minute audio guide made by Huw Griffiths of Mindfulness Bath.

You can listen online via your phone using headphones or download the track for offline listening (41Mbs, Mp3). 

As part of the Sydney Gardens Project, Huw has led 'Mindfulness in the Park' walks and talks over the past couple of years which have been very popular. This year, Huw has created a Mindfulness audio guide so that anyone can go on a self-led session.  

Outdoor Exercise Provider in the park
Urban Fox Fitness normally run regular exercise classes in the park. During the current lockdown, Lucy is offering one-to-one Personal Training in the Park by appointment only. Contact Lucy on
The regular Group Exercise timetable has moved online, so that people can continue to workout from their gardens or indoors.
The Friends of Sydney Gardens
The Friends of Sydney Gardens is a community organisation formed in 2013 to promote awareness of the gardens, gather community feedback on improvements and developments and to foster the gardens' care and maintenance.

The Friends usually run a small group volunteer gardening session on the second Sunday of the month and weekly litter picks, so if you want to help your local green space then contact Gill Gazzard at the Friends. 

Please join the Friends to support Sydney Gardens now and in the future.
Gill Gazzard, a volunteer with the Friends, has recently been working with us developing a Tree Trail that celebrates the park's historic and Champion Trees, with a tree labelling project too.

We are planning to trial the new Tree Trail during National Tree Week in early December. More news to follow on this.
Sydney Gardens National Lottery Heritage Funded Project
Sydney Gardens is one of Britain’s best remaining Georgian Pleasure Gardens.
Find out more about Sydney Gardens in the past.

The National Lottery Heritage Funding will be used to restore historic buildings, invest in landscape works and garden restoration, and create new play areas for all ages.
Find out more about Sydney Gardens

Alongside the works, a programme of events and activities is being run: learning, arts, nature, horticulture, wildlife, play, sport, archaeology and history. The project will celebrate the fascinating history of the Gardens, with its Cosmorama, Labyrinth, Merlins Swing, Concerts, Public Breakfasts, Galas and Illuminations.

What's happening:

Our project started the 'Delivery Phase' on 1st February 2019:
2019: Detailed technical design, programming of works, with public events, activities, training and volunteering.
2020: Delivery of restoration, building works and landscaping, volunteering and training programme, and designing interpretation
2021: Continued delivery of the restoration and build with accompanying volunteer and training programme, activities and partnership events
2022: Completion of the project

Read about our National Lottery Heritage Funding

Sydney Gardens, Bath
Sydney Gardens, Bath
Sue Palmer, Sydney Gardens Community Ranger
Sue Palmer, Sydney Gardens Community Ranger
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Sydney Gardens Parks for People Project · Parks and Green Spaces · Lewis House, Manvers Street · Bath, Bath and North East Somerset BA1 1JG · United Kingdom

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