Queen Mother's Garden to close for refurbishment

People show off the new Queen Mother's Garden design plans

(L-R) Marcus Glover from CGM group contractors, Cllr Alison Webb from Breckland Council and Cllr Hugh King, Mayor of Dereham show off the new Queen Mother's Garden design plans - Credit: Breckland Council

It is a garden fit for royalty, and now plans are in place to modernise the Queen Mother's Garden in Dereham so more people can enjoy it.

The refurbishment of the much-loved green space, which sits between St Withburga Lane and Church Street will start on July 18, closing the garden until the autumn.

The project, which is a joint effort between Breckland Council and Dereham Town Council, is part of ongoing Platinum Jubilee celebrations and will modernise the public space and make it more accessible to different groups.

A notice on the Queen Mother's garden gate telling people about the planned work

A notice on the Queen Mother's garden gate telling people about the planned work - Credit: Aaron McMillan

The improvement works will see a new path laid, new eco-benches installed, bird boxes painted by local school children, a community book swap cupboard and new planting put in place.

The garden will also include sensory plants which are particularly beneficial to children and people with dementia.

Funding for the project has come from Breckland Council's 'Thriving Places' programme, aimed at supporting town centres to thrive and prosper and Dereham Town Council.

Queen Mother's Garden, in Dereham, in the snow January 30, 2019. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

Queen Mother's Garden, in Dereham, in the snow January 30, 2019. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP - Credit: Archant

Paul Hewett, Breckland Council’s executive member for property and projects, said: "We are delighted to be working with Dereham Town Council on this prestigious project honouring the Queen Mother and benefiting both residents and visitors to the town.

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“The garden has tremendous potential to become a real gem in Dereham and a valuable space for nearby schools and residents with dementia. 

"Dereham has enjoyed this public space for 40 years and the launch of the refurbishment will ensure this beloved royal garden keeps blooming for another four decades and beyond."

A notice on the Queen Mother's garden gate telling people about the planned work

A notice on the Queen Mother's garden gate telling people about the planned work - Credit: Aaron McMillan

Hugh King, mayor of Dereham Town Council, added: "I am delighted to see work start on the Queen Mother's Garden, ensuring this wonderful public garden in Dereham is refurbished for the benefit of our residents.

“In the Platinum Jubilee year, it is truly fitting that the gardens are given a new lease of life, that will be enjoyed by residents for decades to come."

The garden already has the seal of royal approval, after The Queen Mother paid a visit to see the popular public space for herself when it opened in the early 1980s.

It is not yet known when the site will reopen, with the refurbishment expected to run until autumn this year.

Queen Mother in Dereham Queen Mother's Garden 1983

Queen Mother in Dereham Queen Mother's Garden 1983 - Credit: Archant