Sydney Gardens Project
National Lottery Heritage Funded Park Restoration Project
March 2022
The new Play and Sport Area opens on Monday 4 April at 12 noon
Hello everyone

Welcome to updates from the project.

ur park restoration project has really gathered pace in the last month, and we're nearly over the line. And yes! The new Play & Sport area opens on Monday 4 April at 12 noon. We hope you enjoy it! Read on for the details as well as a temporary closure later for painting!

Also, Sue Palmer, the Community Ranger is leaving the Sydney Gardens Project today - the end of March. Sue would like to thank everyone she has worked alongside on the project - the Parks Service, the participants and audiences, the artists and activity leaders, the volunteers, the Holburne and the Friends of Sydney Gardens, plus the project team. And especially to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lottery players who make this project possible!


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
Read our blog on Medium
Park build update
Our build programme has been affected and delayed by the Covid pandemic as well as other factors by around 14 months. 

We have had permission from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to extend the project until the end of 2022 to enable us to continue to deliver the restoration project as close as we can to our plan and within budget, but with no additional funding available.

IronArt have restored the Edwardian Gents Loo on site.  They have special glass windows all around the outside so you can see in! Interpretation about the story of public toilets will be installed over the summer. This photo shows the beautiful 1920s Ladies Ironwork Loo that has now been re-assembled and placed by the Community Pavilion. The building will be used as a base for learning and curiosity by Under 5s Outdoor Learning provider Foxglove Forest School.
Here is the new adult swing being lifted into place!

The Play & Sport area will open on Monday 4 April at 12 noon, ready for the Easter holidays. There are swings and slides, a climbing frame, a 'Sham Castle', natural play, basketball, table tennis and a panna football court. We're really looking forward to seeing everyone in there!

We will need to close the play area for the week of the 6th June for a final surface chipping and painting of the basketball and tennis courts. This work can only be done in warm and dry conditions. The lower tennis courts will open after that. The upper tennis courts are open and fully finished.

The petanque court is finished. You are welcome to play!

The new public loo (20p card reader) & the new Changing Places facility is open. 

The Community Pavilion is complete and is currently being used by the project team, the project activity providers, the Friends of Sydney Gardens and the Holburne Museum to test the use of the space. We hope that it will be fully operational later in the year and able to take external bookings.

Landscaping and planting are almost complete in the wider Gardens. Further work will be undertaken by the Parks team with the help of the Friends of Sydney Garden and volunteers.

The new northern entrance off the Warminster Road will soon open and this will provide an additional step free access point into the park.

The Temple of Minerva will receive its paint soon - it has taken a long time over the winter to dry out ready for painting. Interpretation will be installed to provide information on the heritage of the Gardens and for everyone to locate key facilities, over the summer.

Network Rail are in the compound on the lower lawn until mid/late June while they install new fencing alongside the railway and improve the path alongside the railway. they are due on site until the end of June, before Bath Carnival lands in the park in early July!

New Activity Trails for Kids 
Heritage and Trees - downloadable PDFs
Plus Teachers Notes for KS2
We have created two NEW Activity Trails for Kids for Sydney Gardens and we've had great feedback on them. They are full of fun things to do for primary aged children - one is all about trees, and the other about the heritage of the park.  Download them NOW :-) and get ready to go exploring.  Plus, with the help of artist educator Aimee Corbett we have made Teachers Notes for KS2 to accompany each trail. 

Our project archaeologist Susana Parker has compiled a brilliant activity resource for young history detectives. And Susana has thoroughly sorted out all places where and when Roman finds were discovered. 

Plus we have just updated all our 3 trails - Heritage, Jane Austin and Trees - following your feedback - thank you to those who commented! Go to our trails webpage.
Sydney Gardening
Gardening Volunteer Sessions every Wednesday
Small group gardening volunteer sessions are running every Wednesday from 10am to 11.30am, led by Mali and Matt, running through the year.

Please book in to a session here. There are different activities each week with lots of planting coming up. A warm welcome guaranteed in this friendly group of all ages! No experience needed. All tools provided. 

As a volunteer you also get first dibs on our free horticultural training programme.  If you'd like to get involved in gardening or conservation, or have any questions, please contact Mali Kedward, the Horticultural Participation Officer. 
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 run a volunteer gardening session on the second Sunday of the month from 10am to 12 noon. There is a regular group of friendly people - contact Gill if you would like to join them. All tools provided and a warm welcome!

The Sydney Gardens Tree Trail has been created by the Friends in partnership with us. Over 1000 trails have been taken from the perspex box in the park since we launched it last December with lots of views of the online version too. The latest updated versions have now been printed and are online too!

Each tree on the trail has a QR code to access in depth information via the Friends website

Access the Sydney Gardens Tree Trail online or pick up a printed leaflet (in the perspex box by the notice board at the park entrance behind the Holburne). 

We nominated Gill for Volunteer of the Year Award with Your Parks, and she won! Congratulations Gill - your contribution to the Sydney Gardens Project has been outstanding.

Please help support your local green space - contact Gill Gazzard at the Friends. 

Please join the Friends to support Sydney Gardens now and in the future.
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 is being 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.

2020-21: Delivery of restoration, building works and landscaping, volunteering, and designing interpretation

2022: Continued delivery of the restoration and build, interpretation, with accompanying volunteer programme, some activities and partnership events

December 2022: Closure of the project

Read about our National Lottery Heritage Funding

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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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