Sydney Gardens Project 
National Lottery Heritage Fund & B&NES Council
Park Restoration Project
September - October 2020
An exciting find! This Codd Bottle was found by Ryan, one of our builders, while digging the foundations for the Community Building extension behind the public loos. Codd Bottles were first designed in 1872 for carbonated drinks. This one is rare because it still has the marble in the neck. We'll keep this bottle along with other bits of unusual pottery finds for our learning activities.

We very much hope this e-news update finds you well and safe.
Our construction project has started in the park. We anticipate it will take a year to complete in full. This newsletter brings you:

- updates about the build and how it affects the park
- training and volunteering opportunities
- a Hobby Horse activity specially for young people 
- volunteer gardening
- new exercise classes in the park with Urban Fox Fitness

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
From Monday 28th September the Main Entrance to Sydney Gardens (off Bathwick St/ Sydney Place) will be closed for a week to pedestrians and vehicles. A crane will be taking down the stone pillars at the entrance to allow for deliveries and construction vehicles access.

Going forward, we are looking at how we can maintain safe passage for pedestrians.
Edgar Builders are the Main Works Contractor (Community Pavilion/ Bothy/ tennis courts/ play area). 

Edgars have started on site, organising the construction compound, preparing for landscaping the new play area. The Bowls Club will be demolished soon. The Bothy has been cleared and the roof repaired.

Parsons Landscapes will be doing the landscape works on the project.
The refurbishment of the upper tennis courts are booked in for November, so we hope to have them available to play well in advance of Spring!
Iron Art Bath are undertaking the restoration of the Edwardian Gents and 1920s Ladies Loos.

The 1920s Ladies Iron WC has been dismantled by Iron Art and taken away for restoration - here it is all labelled and packed away in a photo taken by Ainslie Ensom from Bath World Heritage Enhancement Fund, who are supporting the restoration.  The Gents will be restored on site.
Sally Strachey Historic Conservation are delivering the Conservation Works Contract (Loggia/ Temple of Minerva/ Ruinette/ Ice Cream Kiosk).

They are expecting to start on the Temple of Minerva in October and will scaffold the building before starting works.

Our design team:

The Architect is BBA Architects Ltd based in Darlington Wharf - Bathwick
The Landscape Architect is Greenhalgh Landscape Architects based in Sydney Wharf - Bathwick
The Structural and Civil Engineer is Mann Williams based in Queens Square.
Network Rail are expecting to start the railway balustrade and fencing works in a couple of weeks time and will set up a small works compound adjacent to the railway.

We are aware of a safety concern near the metal railway pedestrian bridge where Network Rail cut back foliage exposing an area where the ground is higher giving access onto the wall. We have covered this with safety netting and flagged it to NR.

Covid-19, updates and Sydney Gardens

Our build programme has been delayed by the Covid pandemic by around six months and we anticipate it will continue to affect our schedule. 

We provide regular updates about the restoration project, so do check the posters at the entrances and around the park - we update them monthly. 

Please follow the most recent government guidance in relation to using the park and public green space. Click here for updates from Bath & NE Somerset Council about Covid-19.
Activities and opportunities!
Workshops and Training 
Many of our on site activities that we planned have been cancelled due to social distancing needs. And as some of you will know, it's a challenging time to organise anything. But ... even though it's a building site too, we have outdoor space! - and we have the internet ...

Here are some new activities, volunteering opportunities and training ... with more to come
Hobby Horse - make and create 
Online Workshops for young people aged 7-12
This November!
Horses and Sydney Gardens have a special history together with the trace of The Ride still running round the park from 1795! Women and men would be galloping around, jumping the leaping bars! To celebrate, we're working with Bath based artist Aimee Corbett on a wonderful activity for young people.

A Hobby Horse make and create workshop!

Online workshop via Zoom. Making kit and all materials provided. Only 8 places. Free!

Did you know that Hobby Horsing in Finland is a serious art?  The culture of Hobby Horses can be traced across centuries and countries. So jump in and be part of a creative project - have fun, connect and meet new people. 
Are you a Bath Home Educator?
Online workshop on Monday 2nd November - details and booking here

For any young person aged 7-12 
Online workshop on Saturday 14th November - details and booking here.

Bath Young Carers
We're working in partnership with Bath Carers Centre to run a special session for young carers in November too.

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.  All the details are in the link below. 

Let us know how you get on? We welcome your feedback.

Exercise Classes in the park - Urban Fox Fitness
Urban Fox Fitness have started running classes in the park. They have a free session next week on Thursday 1st Oct at 9am - a 30 minute taster session for all abilities. Sweaty Fox is a full-body, equipment free workout - a blend of bodyweight and cardio exercise. Suitable to all levels of ability. All classes are limited to a maximum of 5 participants only. Booking is essential.
Weekly classes:
Monday 9am: STRONGFOX: Building strength and burning fat. No cardio.
Wednesday 7:30am: FLEXIBLEFox: Stretching and flexibility, low impact workout to help you feel more energised and mobile.
Saturday 9:30am: SWEATYFox: Whole-body cardio and strength workout to elevate your fitness. Expect fun drills to keep you moving and working hard.
Volunteer with us!  Oral history collecting and Podcasting!
Interested in learning how to create a podcast yourself from interviewing and recording to editing and uploading?  Can you help us collect interviews and create short podcasts?   

We have 2 places left on our How to make a Podcast Starter Day on Friday 16th October. Only 4 places in total due to social distancing. You'll need your own laptop and ideally a smart phone or voice recorder. 

Interested? - Get in touch with Sue Palmer, the Community Ranger.
We currently have volunteers working on trails, interpretation, writing posts documenting our restoration project, and helping us on social media. We are happy to talk with you about volunteering opportunities that we have including oral and written history collection and publication, podcasting, and in-depth research of some of the heritage of the park. Get in touch - we'd be happy to hear from you.  
Sydney Gardening Update

Here are Mali Kedward, the Sydney Gardens Horticultural Participation Officer along with Matt Watson, our Horticultural Apprentice, improvising a lunch break spot.  We've lost our base The Bowls Club, so everything's outdoors! 

Mali and Matt have been helping to clear areas of the park of Laurel, and working on the Rockery.

We have been trialling Covid risk assessed small group volunteer gardening sessions on Wednesday morning. These sessions run with a maximum of 4 people.

If you're interested in volunteering on Wednesdays in Sydney Gardens, please contact Mali Kedward

Here's a California Poppy on the wildflower borders for the end of summer.
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.

Gill Gazzard has recently completed the research for a Tree Trail that celebrates the park's historic and Champion Trees, with a tree labelling project too. We hope to have a draft of the trail ready for people to try out in Autumn. 

The Friends 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.
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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