A spectacular new public gardens bringing back to life the sprawling former Worsley New Hall estate in Salford is nearing completion.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has already spent millions in the design and preparation of what will become its fifth garden, RHS Bridgewater just off Leigh Road in Boothstown.
But revealing the latest developments on Thursday, bosses say they hope the public can help in raising the final £4.8million to get the project ready to open for July 2020.
BBC Gardener’s World star Carol Klein joined the garden’s curator Marcus Chilton-Jones at the site to urge the public to help in the completion of a special “Mother Orchard” for the north west.
It will be the largest of 11 gardens within the majestic 11-acre Weston Walled Gardens, which will become one of the biggest walled gardens in the country. It is being created on the site of the original orchard which existed at Worsley New Hall in the 1840s.
The orchard will include 37 varieties of heritage apple trees from across Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and the old Westmoreland, and 14 varieties of heritage pear – first grown at Boothstown 170 years ago.
Carol, originally from Walkden, said: “One of the most important elements of RHS Garden Bridgewater is The Orchard Garden where endangered varieties, especially those local to the north west will be propagated and protected for future generations.
“This garden is a dream come true not just for the UK but especially for the North West. It’s a vital project for the advancement of horticulture, for local employment and to engage local communities in gardening. So good for the body, soul and spirit. That’s why it’s imperative to do whatever we can to help the RHS bring it to life.”
The site spreads across 154 acres in total, with phase one of the developments to include a paradise garden and a kitchen garden within the walled gardens – as seen in an artist’s impression above.
More information on supporting and donating to the project can be found on the RHS website.