A big, big thanks goes out to Veolia Environmental Trust who have confirmed that they will fund further capital works in the garden. Having previously funded part of the rebuild and renovation works on the walls, this new grant will fund the installation of a rainwater collection system, improved accessibility of the garden and a new front gate.
We have recently rebuild 2 lean-to glasshouses against the North wall spanning 70m and it’s estimated that 131,000 litres of rainwater could be harvested from the roofs in one average rainfall year. It’s important that the garden is as sustainable and as self sufficient as possible, so we’ve come up with the idea of converting the old coal house/bunker in to a water tank holding around 12 tonnes of water. The coal bunker is still in-situ from the Georgian and Victorian eras when a steam engine heated the north wall.
Improving the paths and grounds of the garden will make it possible for people with physical disabilities to enjoy the garden. Old concrete paths are crumbling and cracked and 1970’s crazy paving causes trip hazzards. This grant will be used to mainly level out the pathways so that all of us are safer in the garden.
The magnificent oak entrance gates for the garden measure 3.5m across and 3.5m high. They are in a bad state of repair. Replacement gates will also have a a smaller ‘Hobbit’ door constructed within them so that we only need to open the small gate to let people in and out. We will be able to close all the gates ensuring the safety of children and people who may feel more vulnerable.
This is very exciting for us and our partners Havering Council and Friends of Bedfords Park as these are the last major works in the garden. All works funded by the grant will be finished in September 2015 the latest.