Work on the Marshall Gardens community project is well advanced

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WORK to breathe new life into Marshall Gardens, opposite the Warrington Cenotaph, as a place of peace and reflection, is now well underway.

After an initial clean-up of the site, supported by local volunteers, the City Council’s environment team is now on site for the first key stage of the renovation which, over the next few months, will see the site transformed into a magnificent community garden.
The community-led renovation project is coordinated by City Council, in partnership with Lisa Billing, the mother of Private Daniel Wade, of Latchford, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012.
All shrub and tree plantings, with the exception of a single Acer tree, will be removed from the garden and all crushed areas down to the ground.
The felled trees will be replaced by 18 new trees, which will revitalize the gardens, with designs offering open views of the park – and opening up views of the gardens from the opposite bank of the River Mersey – creating an inviting green space for all. the community to take advantage of it.
Deforestation of the original trees – which were planted in the 1950s and are in a tired state – is necessary, as many of them have outgrown their surroundings and need to be replaced.
Lisa is now giving the community the opportunity to play their part in the project, by planting the new trees. She asks people to name local heroes who deserve to plant a tree – be it a school class, a community leader, or a public service hero.
Additionally, Lisa is looking for local businesses to sponsor the new flower beds in the gardens – each sponsor receiving their own plaque on the beds. She is also looking for a local artist who can help with the creation of a new mural in the gardens.
If you would like to nominate someone to plant a tree, or if you would like to sponsor a flower bed or support the project in any way, you can do so by visiting the Friends of Marshall Gardens Facebook page, or by submitting a email to [email protected]
Deforestation will pave the way following the renovation work. In addition to the new trees, flower beds and the mural, other key elements of the project include:
● the installation of 12 new benches
● landscaping work and planting of a variety of colorful, textured and fragrant flowers
● new sculptures and sensory objects, including braille signs
● secure the gardens thanks to new gates and video surveillance
Lisa said: “I am very happy that such good progress is being made in transforming Marshall Gardens into a haven of peace and reflection. It will be a real community garden that everyone can enjoy – from the local community and school children to veterans and their families – so it’s fantastic to see the locals come forward to devote their time to the project.
“We want as many local people as possible to be involved in the renovation, and we are always looking for volunteers. There are many ways to help, from weeding and littering to painting fences or signing up to support long term garden maintenance. If you want to offer your services, contact us.
“I am really excited about the future of Marshall Gardens. My hope is to bring the whole community together to create a place where people can reflect, remember and honor someone who is a hero to them – because we all have heroes in our lives worth honoring. .
The path of heroes
One of the highlights of the gardens will be a new Heroes Trail, offered in partnership with the National March of Veterans, which aims to pay permanent tributes to all who have served or still serve in our regular and reserve armed forces. as well as in the public service.
Launched in Sunderland in 2016, the Warrington Project was first extended to allow people to purchase a stone honoring public service workers – including emergency services, the NHS and the medical staff who worked courageously in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
For more information on the Heroes Pathway project and to purchase a stone, please visit nationalveteranswalk.co.uk.
Rob Deveron, Director of Operations at National Walks Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be part of the major renovation of such a historic site, remembering one of Warrington’s greatest industrialists.
“The trail inside the park is accessible to all military, public, health and emergency service personnel who have supported both the country and the local community over the years. Each stone will carry personal service details and be laid as a lasting tribute to proud service. Everyone has their own hero and what better way to create that permanent memory for everyone. “
Warrington Borough Council Recreation and Community Cabinet Member Cllr Tony Higgins added: “It is great news that this fantastic project, to breathe new life into Marshall Gardens, is moving forward. This enabling work is an important next step in providing the backdrop for the creation of a new community park in the heart of Warrington.
“It’s wonderful to see the community supporting this project, and I hope to see many more local people getting involved as the renovation grows. By working together, we can transform this site into a vibrant and sensory memorial garden for all to enjoy. “
For more general information, visit the ‘Marshall Gardens Heroes March‘or the’ Friends of Marshall Gardens’ pages on Facebook. You can also follow @MarshallGardens on Twitter.

Volunteer Derek Vernon

Rubbish removed from the site by volunteers

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