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Lottery boost for Knaresborough's green fingered volunteers

[Thursday 25 January 2007]
knaresbourough bebra gardens
One of the views opened up in Bebra Gardens

A GROUP of green fingered enthusiasts in Knaresborough have had their hard work rewarded as they restore a local beauty spot to its former glory.

The Friends of Bebra Gardens have had their community efforts recognised by the National Lottery. They have just been notified that their application to the Community Awards for All fund has been successful with a grant of £9962 - just £38 short of the maximum available under the scheme.

Formed in 2005, the Friends have already started making inroads into restoring these beautiful gardens working alongside Harrogate Borough Council's Parks Team. Their ultimate aim is to attain Green Flag status for Bebra Gardens - named in honour of the town's links with Bebra in Germany but which were formerly known as Moat Gardens because of their proximity to the Knaresborough Caste moat.

The grant will be used to engage Golders Associates, a multi national company with a local office in Tadcaster, to produce a master restoration plan for the gardens. This will guide the restoration and development work, and the Town Council and local residents will be consulted along the way.

Deb Wright, Harrogate Borough Council's, Parks Development Manager, said: "This is exactly the sort of reason why we are keen to get volunteers working with us. Statutory bodies, like councils, can't source outside funding in the same way a Friends Group can. The Awards for All lottery funding pot is a great source of income and by having a properly formed and constituted body like the Friends of Bebra Gardens it means we stand a good chance of getting money. But to get to a near maximum grant is all down to the support and enthusiasm which the individual members of the Bebra Friends have shown."

...a near maximum grant is all down to the support and enthusiasm which the individual members of the Bebra Friends have shown

Deb Wright - Harrogate Borough Council

As well as pruning back overgrowth and revealing some of the stunning views from the gardens, the Friends have also been restoring rockeries and planting over 600 polyanthus to give some winter and spring colour. They will continue to sweep and tidy the gardens but await the finalisation of the master plan before any other major work is carried out.

The Friends Group meets monthly and is always keen to attract more volunteers. They have even created a website so people can keep in touch with what is happening and hope it may even attract a few more willing helpers.

The website with some stunning photographs can be viewed at www.knaresborough.co.uk/bebragardens

  • Friends meet on the first Monday of every month, meeting at 9am at the main entrance on Brewerton Street.

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