Sydney Gardens Project
National Lottery Heritage Funded Park Restoration Project
June 2021
Our new trail - Jane Austen in Sydney Gardens - is out in print and online now!
News, opportunities and events
It's midsummer. The sunflowers are growing!

Recently we've hosted a Cosmo-rama Pinhole Lens Making day, journeys led by artist Richard White investigating the street names surrounding Sydney Gardens, Creativity Works, Threeways School, Bathwick St Mary's Primary, gardening volunteers, Good Gym and an archaeological dig.  More on this coming soon ...

Right now we have:
- a new Jane Austen in Sydney Gardens Trail in print and online,
Family Wildlife Gardening session
Talk with IronArt coming up
build update.

The free Wednesday After School Play led by BAPP is fully booked up, but we will be running some small group Quiet Play sessions for children in the summer holidays. Email us for info.

We welcome volunteers across gardening, conservation, research, documentation and social media. Please get in touch if you're interested and we can talk about opportunities.

Avoid this going to your junk. We hear from subscribers that our e-news goes into their junk mail. A tip - add the sender email address to your contacts, that may stop it happening.

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
Camera Obscura artist and pinhole camera maker Natalie Keymist collaborated with optics artist James Holcombe to lead a popular and fascinating workshop in the park on Bank Holiday Monday, inspired by the Cosmorama, an original feature of the Pleasure Gardens.
Jane Austen in Sydney Gardens - a new trail
written by author and historian Diana White
Explore Jane Austen's relationship with the Georgian Pleasure Gardens! Jane lived just across the road at No 4 Sydney Place between 1801 and 1804.

Diana White, an author and historian, has written this trail as a volunteer on our restoration project, helping us to imagine both the time and the place from Jane's perspective.
Collect printed trails from the perspex boxes near the park entrance behind the Holburne or use our online mobile-friendly version. We are testing out our trails before creating final versions later this year so do give us feedback.
Talk with IronArt - Thursday 22 July - 6pm
About the conservation of the historic Ironwork Loos!

Come to this on site talk about the historic Ironwork Loos in Sydney Gardens led by local expert Andy Thearle from IronArt - a great speaker and guide. 

Find out about the restoration processes and challenges faced by IronArt including how they recreated a special rain spout.

These Grade II listed ironwork loos are of significance in their design, pattern and assembly, with both Edwardian Gents and a 1920s Ladies Loo. We will also introduce how the Loos will be used following their restoration.

Free, limited places, outdoors (in and around the ironwork loos in Sydney Gardens). Reserve your place

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 (except August). Please book in to a session here. There's lots to do this summer!

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. 

Here's the Rockery area that has been transformed this year to include grasses and sunflowers.
Here are the lovely sunflowers that have been grown and planted by volunteers of all ages on the Rockery, with their beautiful pink gaffer taped support sticks.
Family Gardening for Wildlife
Tuesday 27 July from 2pm - 4pm
Join our Horticultural Participation Officer Mali Kedward for an outdoor family learning and play session in Sydney Gardens. 

You will learn how to encourage more wildlife to gardens and parks in a practical hands-on way.  This session is designed for children aged 8-12 but siblings are welcome.  Please contact Mali for more information. Booking essential.
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 are still planning to complete building work by the end of the year, planting over this coming winter and the overall project by March 2022. 
Roman Archaeology

In the last news, we reported the finding of a Roman boundary wall and since then we have been excavating the immediate area. We will be reporting further on the finds associated with the archaeological dig in the coming weeks and we’ll cover it in more detail in the next newsletter.

There is a public talk scheduled for Monday 26 July at 6pm, so if you're interested - save the date. More details to follow.


Initial ground works (and soil contamination issues) under the proposed new play area are now complete.

Over the coming weeks you’ll see it take shape with new mounding, path layout and topsoil placement.

At some point over the summer it will be necessary to close the canal entrance and implement a diversion route, so that we can carry out works to the entranceway, including a new ramp to improve access. Further details will be provided in a future newsletter and information will be posted in the area around the entrance.

There maybe some further disruption in the park as the landscape contractors move around carrying out some of the hard landscape work.

Here is a pic of the recently restored long stone seat near the lower lawn. This feature is one of the earliest in Sydney Gardens and appears marked on some of the earliest maps.


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.

The tennis courts at the top of the park have had their final coat of paint and you can use them for play. New gates will be installed at some point in the summer.

The Community Pavilion and Public Loos, with new Changing Places facility are all progressing well.
Sally Strachey Historic Conservation have completed the underpinning and drainage works in the Loggia at the top of the park. Scaffold is up around both the Loggia and the Temple of Minerva to start the main stone conservation work and roofing repairs. We are also restoring the Kiosk by the Bathwick Street entrance.

IronArt have completed the painting of the Edwardian Grade II Listed Gents Loos inside the giant tent. The 1920s Ironwork Ladies has been restored offsite and is due to return to the park in July.
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 the project.  Jonny, Audrey and Gill from FoSG have recently placed new name labels on the trees featured in the trail, each one featuring a QR code that takes you to in depth information on their website

Access the Sydney Gardens Tree Trail online - download the PDF on your computer or phone, or pick up a printed leaflet (in the perspex box by the notice board at the park entrance behind the Holburne). 

Our thanks to Gill and the Friends for their amazing work celebrating the beautiful trees in the park.

We are programming a Tree Weekender as part of National Tree Week full of ways to learn about and value the trees in our park.
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 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
March 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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