The RHS has launched a fundraising drive for the final £4.8m required to allow RHS Garden Bridgewater to open next summer, making the appeal as it announced the creation of a Mother Orchard for the North West in the Salford garden.
The latest garden to enter the Royal Horticultural Society’s pipeline is a collaboration between landscape architect Gillespies and curator Marcus Chilton-Jones. It is to be a traditional orchard garden on a three-and-a-half-acre plot which will wrap around the original 1834 Garden Cottage.
In November last year, contractor Bam was appointed to deliver the Welcome building at RHS Bridgewater, designed by Hodder + Partners. The professional team on the project also includes planner Barton Willmore, project manager Arcadis and Roc Consulting. The site was bought by Salford City Council from Peel L&P, and will be leased to the RHS for 999 years.
An RHS spokesman told Place North West that “at this stage we are confident that we will reach our £4.8m fundraising target in time for the garden to open in summer 2020 – this initial opening phase will include the Welcome building, shop and restaurant, the new lake and Entrance Garden, all the garden areas inside the Weston Walled Garden, the Chinese Streamside Garden, woodland and play area. Visitors will be able to walk as far as the restored, original lake.
“It will be an inspiring new garden to visit with plenty to see and experience, but the project won’t be ‘finished’ as such – the Society has ambitious plans for further phases of development which we hope will include a spectacular Glasshouse on the site of the former Worsley New Hall amongst other elements, which are not included in this fundraising target.”
The Orchard Garden will be the largest of the 11 gardens within the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden, one of the biggest walled gardens in the country, and will be created on the site of the original orchard which existed at Worsley New Hall in the 1840s. The RHS took over the site in early 2017.
Nick Knowles, RHS ambassador, said: “At 154 acres, RHS Garden Bridgewater will bring a sizeable patch of world class horticulture to within an hour’s drive of 8.2m people in the region, delivering significant benefits to people and the environment. This heritage orchard, which will save rare varieties of pear and apple for future generations, is just one example. We want everyone to help us make this exciting project happen.”