Gardeners' World presenter Toby Buckland designs memorial garden to commemorate Royal Marines

BBC Gardeners' World lead presenter Toby Buckland has designed a memorial garden for Royal Marines killed and injured in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Woodlands Garden Project seeks to convert a little-used walled garden at the 45 Commando Royal Marines' base, Condor, in Arbroath into a focal point for remembrance and reflection.

Since 2006, 13 men of the 45 Commando have been killed in action and many seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Officers approached Buckland to design the garden, which will open in October 2011.

A representative said: "Woodlands Garden was the commanding officer's kitchen garden, but had fallen into disrepair." It has been cleared to make way for a 65x45m garden surrounded by a listed Victorian wall. He added: "The aim is to strike the right balance between sadness and celebration, and have an area for young children, some of whom have lost their fathers. Toby has turned the project from pipe-dream into professional reality."

Buckland's design is based on the Marine's cap badge. At the centre, there will be a large block of granite hewn with the names of those from 45 Commando killed in action since it moved to Condor in 1971. The garden will also include larches, wild flowers, a children's area and a greenhouse.

Students from the local Angus College will help build and maintain the garden alongside soldiers from the unit. A campaign has begun to raise £150,000 for the project.

- For further details, see bmycharity.com/wgt.


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