Aerial Drone Image Showing The Latest Development Work At RHS Garden Bridgewater. September 2020
Aerial drone footage showing the garden. c. RHS, Kestrel Cam

GALLERY | RHS Bridgewater gears up for May opening

Sarah Townsend

The country’s fifth Royal Horticultural Society garden, spanning 154 acres in Salford, is due to open on 18 May following construction delays due to Covid-19.

Tickets are to go on sale from 19 April, the RHS announced today. The £35m garden had been due to open on 30 July 2020 but pandemic-related issues forced the project team to revise the construction timescale last year.

Click any image below to launch gallery

Design and engineering firm Arcadis is managing the project on behalf of the RHS, while Bam Construction has been delivering the garden’s welcome building. It is cited as the biggest horticultural project undertaken in Europe since planning permission was granted in 2017, and also marks the first new RHS garden in 17 years and the first ever in an urban location.

The site is the former Worsley New Hall estate close to the Bridgewater Canal in Salford, just off the M60 ring road towards Worsley, and the land is owned by the Peel Group.

The first phase of work has included the restoration of the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden and several further gardens are planned, as well as the Welcome Building, designed by Hodder + Partners, which will feature an events space, learning space, offices, café and shop.

Each section of the garden features designs by RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners alongside several dedicated community spaces, intended to provide gardening inspiration, education and engagement to visitors from the North West and beyond.

More than a quarter of a million plants have been put in the ground, while the Weston Walled Garden itself is home to the Paradise Garden by designer Tom Stuart-Smith, showcasing exotic planting inspired by Asiatic and Mediterranean gardens.

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The Welcome Building at RHS Bridgewater, designed by Hodder + Partners

The nearby Kitchen Garden has been designed by award-winning Harris Bugg Studio and features a display of productive growing techniques and a selection of edibles.

Visitors from 18 May will also be able to visit the beginnings of the Chinese Streamside Garden, intended as the first authentic Chinese garden in the UK, and the four-acre Woodland Play area designed to encourage children to engage with nature.

In addition, there are several community gardens, including a Community Wellbeing Garden, Community Grow area and Peel Learning Garden, supported by the landowner. The Orchard Gardens and the first dedicated RHS Trials ground outside the RHS’s flagship Wisley in Surrey, will enable garden plants to be assessed for their performance in a northern climate.

RHS director-general Sue Biggs said: “RHS Garden Bridgewater is the result of years of hard work by a dream team of designers, gardeners, contractors and many, many others and we are all enormously proud of what we have created.

“Together with our partners and donors, including Salford City Council and The Peel Group, we are thrilled to finally be able to celebrate this monumental achievement on 18 May.”

And Tom Stannard, chief executive of Salford City Council, added: “It’s fantastic that RHS Garden Bridgewater will soon be open to everyone, creating another world-class attraction in Salford and contributing towards tourism and economic growth in Greater Manchester.

“In much the same way as its namesake the Bridgewater Canal put Salford on the map in 1761, we expect RHS Garden Bridgewater to do the same in the modern day.” The council invested a total of £19m in the project, which is expected to bring substantial economic benefits to the local area and wider region.

All Salford residents will be able to visit RHS Garden Bridgewater free on Tuesdays from 25 May, under an agreement between the RHS and Salford City Council.

Your Comments

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This will bring jobs, money and tourism and again put Salford on the map

By Born Bred Darren..

What a shame this isn’t where Mayfield is going to be. It looks stunning all the same.

By Elephant

As an RHS member would love to visit but exactly how would anyone get there via public transport?
Like most RHS gardens you need a car to get there – adding yet more pollution and congestion on GM’s roads.

By Phil Turtle

Worsley has been ‘on the map’ for hundreds of years, since well before the Bridgewater was dug we havn’t been off the map in centuries!…that must must be the most oveused and lamest statements councillors drag out of the bag. As for jobs, most of them are voluntary, i know because i’ve got one. what it will really mean is a lot more traffic on the already overused Worsley roundabout which won’t affect me much as I,ll be cycling in down the canal.

By Worsleyite

Still getting over the needless culling by the RHS of the deer heard that used to reside there!

By Sad :(