Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens Trust is celebrating its 35th Anniversary in 2020 and will thank volunteers and the local community for their support as they look forward to the next 35 years and beyond.

Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens is a 10 acre early 18th Century Grade 11* listed walled gardens, it is one of the only remaining formal English Gardens of its type in the UK and a place of important heritage. It is enjoyed for its unique character and beautiful planting, but also for the outdoor environment and benefits that it offers to people living in the nearby urban areas.

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Since 1985 over 5 thousand local volunteers have given over 9,000 hours of their time each year, over 50,400 hours in total, to restore and maintain the Gardens back to its original 18th Century beauty. The 35th Anniversary gives an opportunity to thank them and to engage with a wider audience encouraging them to support the Gardens to ensure its existence for future generations.

The anniversary celebrations will start in March with an exclusive Garden party for past and present volunteers and trustees, an opportunity for old and new friends to get together, share stories, reminisce and celebrate the achievements of the past 35 years.

A growing number of families have also enjoyed the Gardens, the Unplug and Play programme is aimed at providing low cost, easily accessible activities for younger children (3-11) alongside their grown-ups in the outdoors.  It offers supervised craft sessions inspired by nature and the opportunity for children to explore an outdoor environment that includes a holly maze, a spinney, a heritage apple orchard, wildflower meadow areas, three ponds, a birdwatching area and a solitary bee garden. The focus on the family audience is a major development for the Gardens, with a 77% increase in families visiting these sessions in 2019.  To thank families for their support a special 35th Anniversary event will take place in May half-term 2020 focusing on a fun day taking a whistle stop tour through over 350 years of history in the Gardens.

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A school’s programme will also form part of the 35th Anniversary celebrations, the Gardens are appreciated by local schools providing a safe walled area, a range of outdoor spaces and learning opportunities, from wild woodland and ponds to vegetable gardens and a fruit orchard. There is growing evidence that outdoor learning has major positive effects for physical health, mental welfare, motivation and attainment for all children. Yet, schools are increasingly challenged by the lack of space for outdoor recreation and teaching, particularly in areas of high-density housing. The Gardens provision follows the standards set out by Learning through Landscapes and Learning Outside the Classroom and works especially with primary schools within 3-4 miles of its gates, encompassing most schools within the North Solihull Regeneration Area.

Glynis Powell, General Manager said: The 35th Anniversary is the perfect opportunity for us to thank everyone who has been involved with the Gardens over the years, without whom this important piece of heritage would cease to exist.

It also gives us an opportunity to look forward and assess how we can grow and engage with even more people in the future”.

The Trust has been dependent upon regular grants from the local authority and funding from grant-making trusts to augment visitor income. The Trust is now reducing its reliance on these sources by increasing earned income from visitor entrance fees and membership, secondary spend in the café and shop, and private hire and weddings.

In the future Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens will continue to expand volunteering opportunities, both in volume and in range, and include the development of specific skill sets that can enhance employability.

The Gardens will continue to offer an environment to families who want a space to run and roam free, to engage with wildlife and learn about history and the environment and further develop their school holiday programme Unplug and Play.

It will continue its educational work and fulfil its environmental purpose – actively supporting wildlife and biodiversity.

Future development plans are being assessed and it is hoped that funding will be sourced for a new visitor centre, that will house office space, classroom and community facilities and a new café overlooking the Gardens.

Glynis added; ‘Visitors can support the Garden in a  number of ways, by visiting, donating, buying a membership or leaving a legacy and through this support they will help to retain over 350-years of history and provide a sense of place and identity for an area that has seen massive changes’.

Find out more at or call 0121 749 4100.

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