There’s a new buzz in Saltwell Park

Saltwell Park’s exciting new development of the Swedish designed Buzzing Garden opened to the public on August 18th.

The project, a collaboration between the National Garden Scheme North East, Region Västra Götaland (West Sweden) and Gateshead Council, began on site in May.

Already international, having been born from the North’s cultural and business links with Sweden, the project has reached even further with volunteers from eight countries helping to deliver it along with users of the park, and volunteers from Friends of Saltwell Park.

The costs of the project have been covered by contributions from businesses who have given time, materials, resources and cash to make it happen.

John Riley, Area Director of main sponsor, Tarmac, said: “It’s been a pleasure to be involved in something so new and different.  We’ve helped wherever we could – supplying materials, lending equipment, and we had a great team-building day when we worked on the site.  It’s good to know that we’ve helped create something the community and visitors will enjoy for a long time to come.”

Daniel McArdle of Helen McArdle Care said: “We’re all realising that gardens and gardening deliver so many physical and mental health benefits – we’re pleased to sponsor this project and hope people will use it, enjoy it, watch it develop and maybe even volunteer to maintain it, as an opportunity to keep active.”

Maureen Kesteven, (National Garden Scheme County Organiser, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, and Regional Chairman, North of England) who led the project added: “This has been a fine example of collaboration to bring people together for something worthwhile. It has been great to have so much support and so much interest from businesses and local people.  A real demonstration of how gardening brings people together – and at the end of it, there’ll be something that the whole community can continue to enjoy as well as an attraction for visitors to our region.”

Leader of Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon, said: “This project has brought together people and businesses from all over the world and attracted real practical support from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Everyone has worked hard to make it happen and it’s a credit to all who’ve helped make a reality.”

Tarmac (Stone and other materials, Construction plant hire, volunteers), Buildbase (timber products), SealEco (pond liner), Hirebase (large plant hire) Speedy Services (security fencing)
Plant/seed suppliers/growers:  Pictorial Meadows, Johnsons of Whixley, Trädgårdsresan, A Little Plant Company
Swedish Orient Line (shipping of Swedish heritage plants), Falurodfarg – supplied paint
Cash donations:  Region Västra Götaland, Helen McCardle Care, Husqvarna, Brewin Dolphin, Hadrian Healthcare, personal gifts.

Photo: (l t r): Johnny Mattsson (designer of garden), Anna Brodin (First Secretary, Swedish Embassy), Conny Brannberg (Chair, Culture Committee, Region Västra Götaland), Caroline Theobald CBE (Hon Swedish Consul), George Plumptre (CEO National Garden Scheme)


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