Hemel Hempstead Water gardens set for revamp bid

Land Use Consultants advises on Heritage Lottery Fund bid for Hemel Hempstead Water Gardens.

Landscape architect Land Use Consultants (LUC) has offered its services to help bring Hemel Hempstead Water Gardens back to their former glory.

Chairman of the Garden History Society (GHS) and landscape architect at LUC Dominic Cole said the firm had offered its services to the local council free of charge to help it prepare a bid for funding to restore the site.

It followed a study day held by the GHS on the gardens' designer Geoffrey Jellicoe. According to Cole, delegates who visited the site as part of the event were "shocked" by the gardens' condition.

"The planting is heavily overgrown and shading out the grass, the rose garden is threadbare and there are some unfortunate repairs to the concrete," he explained.

Natural edges had worn away and the site was litter strewn, he added.

Cole said he would be raising awareness of the gardens' historical significance and helping Dacorum Borough Council to prepare an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for backing to revamp the site, which is on the English Heritage register of gardens and parks of historical interest.

Council director Dave Austin said: "If our bid is successful, we intend to do a comprehensive repair and restoration that is carefully planned to meet the needs of the area, makes improvements and is sensitive to the water gardens' historic heritage significance."

Over the next two years the council will invite a Friends of the Water Gardens group to help with the site's maintenance and will enter the gardens into the Green Flag competition, Austin added.

KeyStat

1967: The year in which Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe completed work on Hemel Hempstead Water Gardens.


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