Sydney Gardens Project
National Lottery Heritage Funded Park Restoration Project
February 2021
This icy picture of one of the canal tunnels through Sydney Gardens was sent to us by Sally Helvey a couple of years ago. We hope there is light at the end of the tunnel this year for all of us.
Our news and updates
  • Find out about the latest build developments
  • Read articles about the restoration project including the Ladies Loo restoration and the archaeology 'watches'
  • Take part in an online training seed sowing workshop with the Sydney Gardening Team
We have been organising some self-led activities for families in the park that can take place safely - Nature Tots activity leader Holly Dabbs is making some activity videos for Under 5s and we are hatching a plan with the Holburne Museum to create a self led family activity trail for the February Half Term. We'll update with details soon!

Warmest 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
Stories from Sydney Gardens
Read the latest on the restoration project
Read this fascinating interview with Adam Tuffey, one of the archaeologists working at Sydney Gardens, on a 'Watching Brief' whenever there are earthworks.  Adam answered questions by email about his work from our volunteer John Edwards. 

John has recently got a new job - congratulations to John! - we'd like to thank him very much for his valuable contribution to the project through the many articles he has written on our blog.
So if you're reading this and fancy volunteering with us on documenting the restoration, then please get in touch!

IronArt Bath have updated us about the restoration of the 1920s Ironwork Ladies Loo. They have prepared and repainted the various iron panels and are now underway with repairs to the iron work.  Read all about their progress through the photos and words they sent us at the start of this year.
Sydney Gardens Tree Trail

The Sydney Gardens Tree Trail has been created by the Friends of Sydney Gardens in partnership with the Sydney Gardens Project. The Friends are currently working on tree labels for a selection of trees - we'll let you know when they are up!

Access the Sydney Gardens Tree Trail online - download the PDF on your computer or phone.

Or pick up a printed leaflet from the perspex box by the notice board at the park entrance behind the Holburne as part of your daily exercise - we hope you'll find one there that isn't wet! We're restocking it as often as we can in these times.

The tree trail is being trialled before we make a final version later in 2021 so do give us feedback!

Trees have stories to tell - how did the Giant Sequoia get its name and how did it come to be in Sydney Gardens? What is the connection between the Yellow Bean Tree and a musical instrument? 

Read this in-depth investigation on botany, empire and deep time by the artist, researcher and academic Richard S White about the wider heritage and historical context of some of the magnificent trees in Sydney Gardens.  
We are also working with Bath Spa University Journalism and Publishing Course.  Students participating in the BA Undergraduate Programme have been learning about the history and heritage of the park, through writing articles, essays and social media as part of their course. This is a very valuable partnership enabling younger people to be involved in our restoration project. Some of their articles are published on our Medium blog.
Sydney Gardening
Seed Sowing for Beginners (online training)
From Wednesday 10th February - all welcome!

Interested in learning more about seed sowing and cultivation?
In this online tutorial you will learn the basics of seed sowing, when to ‘prick out’ the plants and potting on. 

Matt Watson, the Sydney Gardens Horticultural Apprentice, will expertly guide you through the basics of what you need to start a successful year of growing at home. 

This online training course will be consist of a short video and PDF instructions, available from Wednesday 10th February. If you'd like to take part, then email Mali Kedward the Horticultural Participation Officer, and you will receive the link to the video and instructions!

We also have a small number of seed growing starter kits for our regular gardening volunteers. Kits are limited so please book quickly to avoid disappointment. Again email Mali if you have volunteered in the gardening sessions, either as part of the Friends Second Sunday, or the Wednesday sessions, to find out more.
Last February, Mali and Matt led a volunteer gardening session with volunteers including students from Bath Spa University, planting Snowdrops. Here they are in 2021!  If you're out in the park, they are in the border that backs onto the wall of the Holburne near the bottom of the central path through the park.
If you're interested in volunteering in the future, in horticultural training or conservation, please contact Mali Kedward
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.

We hope you enjoy using Sydney Gardens as part of your daily exercise, despite the disruptions of the construction.

Our build programme has been affected by the Covid pandemic and by the current lockdown by around 9 months. We anticipate it will continue to affect our schedule. Currently, we are still planning to complete the restoration project by March 2022.  
Construction and restoration update
The Play Area – Work on the play area has been delayed due to needing to seek specialist advice on moving soils with contamination within them. By leaving some of the soils undisturbed and other areas capped by increased soil above it, we have found a way to manage the issue. Once the contractor has agreed to the new approach we can start with the demolition of the Bowls Club and bulk earth moving, hopefully at some point in February - March.
The Community Pavilion and Public Loos – the internal space has been stripped out and new partitions installed. The foundations for the extension were completed in December and the new plinths arrived in January.

Edgars Builders are managing this part of the project. Contractors have been on site through the lockdown but restrictions mean that work is slower due to working in support bubbles.
Network Rail were due to start on the railway fencing at the end of January, however, they’ve had some further delays in their programme and are now expecting to be on site in April.

Parsons Landscape contractors have been on site clearing away large areas of laurel to create new planting beds.

If you're a regular in the Gardens you'll see the difference! 

Parsons have also completed the two sets of railway steps and will soon be getting on with other areas of hard landscaping around the Gardens.

Sally Strachey Historic Conservation who are delivering the building conservation work have been delayed coming on to site as they’ve been held up finishing of work on the Abbey Footprints project. They are now aiming to make a start properly by the end of February starting with the Loggia and stabalising the Ruin in the depot area.
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.
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.
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
@BathnesParks @BathnesParks
@SydneyGardensBath/ @SydneyGardensBath/
@BathnesParks @BathnesParks
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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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