Free gardening training and a wealth of volunteering opportunities are on offer at Bath’s Sydney Gardens throughout 2020.
Residents are invited to become outdoor gardening and conservation volunteers or take advantage of free training in horticultural skills.
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Sydney Gardens team is holding volunteering sessions on Wednesday mornings and the Friends of Sydney Gardens run a variety of activities on every second Sunday of the month.
From March onwards, the Gardens team will be running free training sessions including growing herbs, building a raised bed, gardening for wildlife and family gardening. There will also be training courses available on other subjects including tour guiding, digital photography and bird identification. Sessions are open to everyone and can be booked online.
The gardens, which are the UK’s only surviving Georgian Pleasure Gardens, first opened in 1795 and were a favourite spot of Jane Austen. They are currently undergoing restoration following a £2.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund involving extensive heritage and wildlife conservation work and areas of the park that are currently closed to the public will be reopened.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Sydney Gardens are a real asset to our city. The gardens’ character changes throughout the seasons and I’d encourage residents to come along and enjoy everything they have to offer. Volunteering is a chance for the community to come together and our free training sessions are a brilliant chance for people to pick up skills they can use in their own gardens or allotments.”
The volunteer gardening is held on Wednesdays from 10am-noon and the free training sessions begin from the end of March and run through the year.
More information and details of how to book can be found at www.bathnes.gov.uk/sydneygardening or by contacting Mali Kedward, Sydney Gardens Horticultural Participation Officer on 07779 968 035 or Mali_Kedward@bathnes.gov.uk
Gill Gazzard from the Friends of Sydney Gardens said: “We would very much welcome all volunteers to join our gardening sessions every second Sunday of the month. We would also welcome support with collecting litter in the park, which the Friends carry out every weekend. Come and help to keep the gardens clear of litter while enjoying a walk around this pleasure garden. Additionally, we offer free Historic Guided Walks which reveal fascinating facts about this unique garden in the centre of Bath. Join our friends’ group and receive our newsletters and become involved with an enthusiastic group dedicated to supporting and protecting Sydney Gardens and its heritage.”
To join the Friends, go to; www.friendsofsydneygardens.org or contact Gill Gazzard on 07534 245555.