Sydney Gardens Project
National Lottery Heritage Funded Park Restoration Project
November 2021
Sydney Gardens Tree Weekender
27 & 28 November
Celebrating the trees in Sydney Gardens and across the Forest of Avon

Booking for the activities in the Tree Weekender opens this Sunday - so check out the packed programme and reserve your free place - there's something for everyone. 

Plus we have published the Long List of entries from our Tree Writing Competition - read them on our Medium site.

And this e-news includes a build and project update, so read on!

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

And a big thank you to our social media volunteer, Lily Wheeler.

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
Welcome to our fun-packed weekend of walks and activities on the ground in Sydney Gardens, Bath with an additional on-line programme of activities and informative talks, for young and old. Wherever you are, you can join in!

Programmed by Rethinking Cities (who run the Urban Tree Festival), there are lots of wonderful events and things to do - talks, arts activities, meditation with trees, panel discussions including 'ask an expert' about which tree where! We have walks that cross Bath, outdoor studios, writing workshops and tree photo collage ... 
Visit the Sydney Gardens Tree Weekender webpage 
Open our full event programme (downloadable PDF)
Go straight to Eventbrite for a full list of events and to book your FREE place.
Have a couple of hours to help us?
We need a couple of volunteers for our Tree Weekender to support our walks and talks and arts activities. Plus a volunteer to take photos!
Please get in touch if you're interested - we'd love to hear from you.
The Garden Chronicle is out!
Student Emma Moseley from Bath Spa University, spent the summer volunteering with our project, making us a newspaper, and The Garden Chronicle is now printed and out!

We have created this newspaper especially for people who aren't able to get to the park. We have sent them out to the day care centres, and people who are housebouund through Age UK B&NES.

Emma designed the paper which is full of articles, photos, analysis and puzzles!  We have left a few free copies in the Holburne, so pick one up if you're passing!

Thank you Emma! - an amazing job!
Take our trails in the park:
History and Heritage, Jane Austen and Trees!
Pick up a printed leaflet from the perspex boxes at the park entrance behind the Holburne - we restock on Wednesday mornings, or access them online - they're mobile friendly!
Go to our trails webpage.

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. Thank you Susana.

We are now creating two activity packs for kids about the history and the trees for self-led and school visits. They'll be ready soon.
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 from bulb planting to clearning areas for planting. A warm welcome guaranteed in this friendly group of all ages! No experience needed. All tools provided. Risk assessed for Covid-safety. 

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. 
Construction and restoration update
Our build programme has been affected and delayed by the Covid pandemic as well as other factors by around 10 months.  We have recently 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, but with no additional funding available.

The build programme is progressing well, with planting and landscaping works planned over the autumn and winter and most works are scheduled to complete by the end of 2021.  We have had to make further savings to the scheme. Read our webpage for the full update.

It maybe that further savings are required as the scheme nears competition. At the present time the canal entrance ramp and the opening up of the grounds depot have been paused while the main site works are completed and final budgets prepared. If these elements are affordable, they will proceed in the spring of 2022.
This fantastic photo was taken by one of the park's neighbours Hannah Rees, who has been documenting the progress of the play area from her window! Thanks Hannah!
Edgars Builders are continuing to manage the construction site (except the Network Rail working area). Parsons Landscapes, Sally Strachey Associates and IronArt Bath have all been working in the Gardens over the last couple of years.

The Community Pavilion is now complete and the public toilet and adjacent Changing Places Toilet are expected to open and available for use from December 2021 onwards. Until then, a free Portaloo is available in the park in daylight hours.

The Bothy, a meeting point for volunteers and a store for gardening tools, has now been refurbished and we have kitted it out.  The outside area around the Bothy will be gravelled and made available as an outdoor space. Until then, the temporary fencing will stay in place around the building.

The Temple of Minerva is now complete and a new bat box installed in the roof. We are waiting for the plaster to dry out ready for painting. It will have interpretation and information boards installed over the winter that will track the history of the Gardens and provide a point of orientation for the completed scheme.

IronArt have restored the Edwardian Gents Loo on site. The Grade 2 Ironwork Loos will contain interpretation about the story of public toilets that will be able to viewed through glass panels in the side. The 1920s Ladies Ironwork Loo has been restored off site and has now been re-assembled. The building will be used for pre-school aged children as a nature discovery base.

The play area is being set out and play equipment being installed, and paths being laid with tarmac.

The petanque courts are finished. You are welcome to use them for a game. The landscape works continue to be set out in this area so please take care and avoid fenced off areas.
Tennis courts - the two courts at the top of the park are open for play. New solar-powered gates have been installed.

The courts now operate on a bookable and charging system through Tennis@thepark: £6 per hour for Pay and Play, with Family Membership available for £40 per year, £30 Concession. 

The lower three tennis courts have been closed to create the construction compound and will re-open as two full size courts on completion of the build at the end of 2021. 
  • Labyrinth – this will no longer be a permanent feature as proposed in the planning proposal as it was far too costly. The proposal has been replaced with an adult swing, with views of Camden Crescent and the Lansdown ridge.
  • The former allotments will only have a direct path through it (due to be widened) from the new entrance off the Warminster Road. The trim trail will not be implemented and the orchard planting postponed. We had unresolved issues with the repair of the railings above the railway and concerns from the Parks maintenance team about the ability to maintain the area due to the hazards, slopes and rough ground.
  • Other costs savings have been achieved through looking again at some of the higher quality specifications especially the amount of pennant stone paving / steps.
  • We have also been looking at the implementation of the soft planting and finding more cost effective furniture.

Network Rail are due to carry out fencing works alongside the railway as it passes through Sydney Gardens and these works are currently programmed in for early 2022. They will access the site through the Bathwick Street entrance and will have a site compound on the lower lawn overlooking the railway viewing 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 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 600 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. A new mobile friendly version will be out late Autumn.

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). 

The Friends also run much needed weekend litter picks.

Can you spare an hour to help?

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

Sydney Gardens, Bath Sydney Gardens, Bath
Sue Palmer, Sydney Gardens Community Ranger Sue Palmer, Sydney Gardens Community Ranger
@BathnesParks @BathnesParks
@SydneyGardensBath/ @SydneyGardensBath/
@BathnesParks @BathnesParks
Sydney Gardens blog on Medium Sydney Gardens blog on Medium
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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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