Volunteers wanted to restore gardens

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Derby College is appealing for volunteers to help restore the historic gardens at the Broomfield Hall campus in Morley.

A £4,000 grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust will enable the horticulture team at Broomfield to help restore the Victorian gardens to their former glory, with the aim of boosting its appeal as a visitor attraction.

A total of 11 volunteers are already helping with clearing, planting and maintenance of the grounds but head gardener Samantha Harvey explained that the real hard work was just about to begin.

She said: “We are extremely grateful for the support of some of our former students and local gardeners who regularly come to Broomfield to join the work parties but we really could do with more.

“A vast array of plants and particularly roses are due to be delivered in the near future and it will be all hands on deck to clear the area and start the planting programme.”

The gardens at Broomfield Hall were created when the original hall was built in 1873 by industrialist Charles Schwind.

They still retain the Victorian layout and the plan is to improve these further with several developments including contemporary herbaceous planning, designing, planting a sub-tropical area and installing colourful rainbow planting,

Miss Harvey, who is a former student at Derby College and then trained at the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens in London, said: “We have got big plans for the gardens at Broomfield Hall and our aim is to make these a notable visitor attraction.

“Once established, we are confident that this will be a wonderful visitor attraction.

“We already welcome tours of organised groups such as garden societies and WIs but want to broaden this out to the wider general public.

“As the work progresses, we aim to open the grounds more frequently and welcome people to tour the picturesque grounds and learn more about the different trees.”

“The students are obviously involved and are gaining valuable work experience to improve their employability skills.

“However, we would also be grateful for the input of local people who can volunteer some of their time to be part of this exciting project.”

For more information on volunteering opportunities, please email Samantha.harvey@derby-college.ac.uk and for details of full and part time courses starting at Derby College this September, visit www.derby-college.ac.uk or telephone 0800 0280289.