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120m long path in beautiful Broads garden officially opened

PUBLISHED: 11:52 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:52 21 March 2018

Official opening of the Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Pupils from Fairhaven Primary School cheer as the ribbon is cut by, left to right, Lord Fairhaven, Paralympic and World Champion swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate, Fairhaven gardener John Debbage and Chairman of Broadland District Council David Ward.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Official opening of the Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Pupils from Fairhaven Primary School cheer as the ribbon is cut by, left to right, Lord Fairhaven, Paralympic and World Champion swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate, Fairhaven gardener John Debbage and Chairman of Broadland District Council David Ward. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A new boardwalk which will assist with year round access to one of Norfolk’s most beautiful gardens has been officially opened.

Official opening of the Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Pupils from Fairhaven Primary School cheer as the ribbon is cut by, left to right, Lord Fairhaven, Paralympic and World Champion swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate, Fairhaven gardener John Debbage and Chairman of Broadland District Council David Ward.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYOfficial opening of the Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Pupils from Fairhaven Primary School cheer as the ribbon is cut by, left to right, Lord Fairhaven, Paralympic and World Champion swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate, Fairhaven gardener John Debbage and Chairman of Broadland District Council David Ward. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Paralympic swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate, councillor David Ward, chairman of the Broadland District Council, and the current Lord Fairhaven attended the official opening of the completed Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in South Walsham.

The event formed part of English Tourism Week and was also attended by children from Fairhaven Primary School.

The gardening team at Fairhaven completed the 120-metre path renewal project in the West Garden, thanks to a successful Pound a Plank fundraising campaign.

The money for the project was raised through Gift Aid donations added to the garden entry charge, Pound a Plank donations, collection boxes, a second hand book stall, and a grant from Broadland District Council.

Official opening of the Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Pupils from Fairhaven Primary School cheer as the ribbon is cut by, left to right, Lord Fairhaven, Paralympic and World Champion swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate, Chairman of Broadland District Council David Ward and Fairhaven gardener John Debbage.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYOfficial opening of the Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Pupils from Fairhaven Primary School cheer as the ribbon is cut by, left to right, Lord Fairhaven, Paralympic and World Champion swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate, Chairman of Broadland District Council David Ward and Fairhaven gardener John Debbage. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The finished path features two passing bays for mobility scooters and visitors in wheelchairs.

Head groundsman John Debbage said some 800 planks had been used in the construction of the path with its six bridges.

The planks are set on top of telegraph poles to raise the level and protect the path from winter floods.

The candelabra primula beds, running beside the path, are also being raised to give the plants similar protection and support the annual regeneration and growth of new plants from seed.

Official opening of the Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYOfficial opening of the Main Bridges Path project at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Speaking at opening, Lord Fairhaven said: “Thank you to all the people who have helped in any way in this major construction.

“It is a vast improvement on what was here before.”

Ms Applegate, who lives nearby and said she “loves wildlife” welcomed the new path and was one of the first to take a walk along it after it was officially opened.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, which was opened in 1975, is owned by the Fairhaven Garden Trust, whose key objectives are to care for the garden so that it can be enjoyed by this and future generations and to provide access for all.

There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and an accessible boat.

Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance and mobility scooters are available.

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