Fairhaven Gardens aiming to help the disabled with Pound a Plank project

Fairhaven gardener John Debbage and garden apprentice Michael Hadji.

Fairhaven gardener John Debbage and garden apprentice Michael Hadji. - Credit: Fairhaven Gardens

A gardens trust is appealing for visitors to help fund a project to help construct a path to improve accessibility for users of mobiity scooters and wheelchairs.

The gardening team at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden at South Walsham, has embarked on a 120-metre path renewal project, and is asking visitors to donate a Pound a Plank to support the project.

So far £5,000 has been raised through gift aid donations added to the garden entry charge, collection boxes and a second hand book stall, towards the £12,000 scheme on the main bridge path in the West Garden.

The scheme will improve access by adding two passing bays for mobility scooters and visitors in wheelchairs. The passing bays will also include benches so visitors can rest and enjoy the sights and sounds of the garden, including the candelabra primulas in May and yellow flag iris, marsh marigold and massed wild flowers from June onwards.

Some 800 planks will eventually cover the length of the main bridge path, with its six bridges. The planks are being set on top of telegraph poles to raise the level and protect the path from winter floods.

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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.

The project has been designed by Fairhaven gardener John Debbage and is being implemented by Mr Debbage and garden apprentice Michael Hadji.

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Louise Rout, manager, said: 'John has designed a superb footpath scheme and both he and Michael are making great progress. But we need additional funds to ensure the path can be completed by the height of the summer season.'

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden 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.

The garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich.

Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.

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