Sydney Gardens Project 
National Lottery Heritage Fund & B&NES Council Park Restoration Project
December 2020
This little Robin has become great friends with the project gardening team over the past few months. It is especially happy when the tool shed door is open and it can pop in for a quick spider snack. 
We're sending Festive Greetings to you from the Sydney Gardens Project team.  And we hope you stay safe and well over the midwinter time.

This year has shown us just how important our parks are for our own health and well being, and for all the other creatures too, including our Robin.  We hope you continue to enjoy Sydney Gardens, even through the disruption of the restoration project.

We want to thank all our volunteers - the Friends of Sydney Gardens Committee and volunteers, and those who work with us across research and writing, trail making, social media - for all the time and energy they give to the park.

Read on for - stories from Sydney Gardens, our Tree Trail and build updates.

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
Our volunteer John Edwards has been gathering stories.
This midwinter, get a cup of tea, sit and have a read ....
Artist Bernard Ollis grew up in the 1960s near Sydney Gardens - read Bernard's moving memories of the park. The painting on the right is 'Sydney Gardens series - Boy and Dog'. 

Ryan, one of the builders, found a Codd-neck bottle while the foundations of the Community Pavilion were being dug.  This is a special one and a lucky find as it still has the marble in the neck - find out about carbonated drinks in the 1800s!!

Read this lovely account by Bowls Club Captain Bryan Stevens about the former Bowls Club at Sydney Gardens.

What's happened to the Ironwork Ladies LooRead about what's happening in the restoration by IronArt Bath.
Sydney Gardens Tree Trail

Tree Trail has been created by the Friends of Sydney Gardens in partnership with the Sydney Gardens Project so you can find out about the extraordinary trees.

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

Or pick up a printed leaflet from a newly installed outdoor perspex box by the notice board at the park entrance behind the Holburne - we hope you'll find one there that isn't wet! 

We are testing out the Tree Trail before creating a final version later in 2021 so try it out and 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 Indian 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.  
Construction and restoration update
How the park is affected
The Tennis Courts at the top of the park are open for play! They have been restored and new fencing installed. The courts are open for ‘turn-up and play’ using temporary markings until the Spring.

Once the weather is drier the courts will have their final coat of paint and new gates installed. The lower tennis courts will be refurbished next summer.
The Play Area – this area is awaiting some further ground investigation prior to work being carried out in January/February. We have discovered a layer of clinker under the Bowls Green and old play area that would have been used for drainage. This material is however classed as contaminated ground and we have had to request a chemical analysis of the clinker. We are waiting for a report on the options for how we carry out earth moving.
The Community Pavilion and Public Loos - here is a photo taken today inside the future Community Pavilion. To the left are where the old public loos were, and where the new Changing Places facility and new Public Toilet will be, and to the right will be the new hall area. 

Edgars Builders are managing this part of the project - Ryan and Lewis have been on site working away for the past few months doing an excellent job.

Parsons Landscaping have now been contracted to work on some of the soft and hard landscaping in the park.  

Some areas of the Cherry Laurel have been cleared, including the area above the Canal, which has opened new views across the top area of the park.

Here, the new steps up from the Railway Path by the Temple of Minerva are coming on well.
The Bothy - the refurbished store for Sydney Gardens at the top of the park is nearly done. At the moment it looks more like a potential art gallery.

Here are Mali and Matt working out where the store cupboards will go. It should be finished in January, and we will be able to move out of the lock up in the depot. Exciting!
Sally Strachey Historic Conservation are delivering the Conservation Works Contract (Loggia/ Temple of Minerva/ Ruinette/ Ice Cream Kiosk).

Their schedule has been held up by other work as a knock on affect from the pandemic, and they expect to start work early in 2021.
Network Rail will be back on site in January installing the railings along the railway. They will set up a small works compound adjacent to the railway.
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.

Our build programme has been delayed by the Covid pandemic by around six months and we anticipate it will continue to affect our schedule. Check the posters at the entrances and around the park - we update them monthly. 
Sydney Gardening Update

Mali Kedward, our Horticultural Participation Officer and Matt Watson, our Horticultural Apprentice, work in the park at least one day a week. Here they are clearing vegetation away from around the Georgian Reservoir with volunteers.

Volunteer Gardening takes place on Wednesday mornings from 10am to 11.30am, with a small group of volunteers (Covid-secure).

If you're interested in volunteering, future gardening activities or conservation, please contact Mali Kedward. Sessions restart on Wednesday 20th January.
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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