Sneak peak at Walled Garden

The Guardian has been given a preview of how Worden Park's Walled Garden is looking, ahead of the grand public opening this Friday
The Guardian has been given a preview of how Worden Park's Walled Garden is looking, ahead of the grand public opening this Friday

Worden Park’s historic Walled Garden is opening to the public for the very first time this week.

The grand opening comes after 12 months of hard work transforming the site, which dates back to the 18th century, into a gardening oasis for all of the community to enjoy.

A fun day is being held on Friday to celebrate the end of the £100,000 restoration project, which has brought the old kitchen garden that once served the ffarington family in Worden Hall, back to life.

The renovation of the garden by the Brothers of Charity, which has been running the site over the years as a place for horticultural activities for people with learning difficulties, means that it is now a ‘living museum’ for the wider public to visit.

Ann Jones, Brothers of charity services manager, said: “The official opening and fun day will be a great way to celebrate our fantastic garden.

“We anticipate that the improvements will mean it will become a hub where people of all ages and backgrounds can garden, relax, create things, make friends, and have fun.”

She said that areas where people can picnic and learn about the history of the site have been specially created, and the garden’s facilities have been greatly improved.

Space is now also available in the potting sheds to support the development and display of local talents and crafts.

Worden Park was built in 1777 and was originally owned by the ffarington family. A large part of the house was burned down in 1941 and it was eventually demolished, and the park became a country park in 1951, maintained by South Ribble Council.

The Walled Garden project came after the public showed their desire for it to be made into a community space during council consultations.

The work has included restoration work to the Melon Pit, creating vegetable beds, building a polytunnel, moving and re-erecting a greenhouse and planting fruit trees, but it is hoped that other community groups, schools and colleges can contribute to its development over the coming years.

Funding and support has come from several sources including South Ribble Partnership, South Ribble Council and The Veolia Environmental Trust, which awarded a grant of £100,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The Community Payback Team, Help Direct, and students and pupils from colleges and schools also got stuck into help finish the project.

Ann said: “It has taken a lot of hard work and it has only been possible because of the strong commitment and dedication from our partner organisations and volunteers, so a big ‘thank you’ to all of them.”

The opening and fun day starts at 11am on Friday. You will be able to learn about the garden’s history and get involved in activities such as planting, woodturning, arts and crafts, and face painting, as well as taking a look at reptiles and a pets’ corner.