Help needed for restoration of Old Durham Gardens

AN appeal is being made for green-fingered volunteers to help with the upkeep of an historic garden.

A team of supporters are recreating an historic orchard in Old Durham Gardens, a Grade II listed park and garden in the heart of Durham, and are looking for residents to give them a helping hand.

The gardens, near Shincliffe, date back more than 300 years and originally surrounded a manor house, which was demolished in the 18th Century.

However, the Jacobean walled gardens with their summerhouse and orchard were a popular destination for visitors right up to the Second World War.

A Friends of Old Durham Gardens group was set up in 2010 to help renovate the gardens, which are now owned by Durham County Council, and they are now hoping to recruit more volunteers to help with the restoration.

Damson trees have already been planted and crocus bulbs, donated by the council, will bloom in spring.

Rose bushes have been pruned and weeding and a general tidy up have also taken place after a busy summer, which has seen the return of outdoor music concerts, which were once popular at the venue.

Coun Neil Foster, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: "Old Durham Gardens really are a jewel in Durham’s crown and should be treasured and looked after for future generations to enjoy.

"Helping us out by giving up a couple of hours of your time will help to keep the garden in good shape and you never know you may just make some friends and have fun along the way."

For information on volunteering or visiting the gardens, please visit olddurhamgardens.com

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