Lottery money saves kitchen garden
4 May 2011
A derelict Georgian walled garden and orchard in Stockton-on-Tees is being brought back to life after winning a £300,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Preston Hall Walled Kitchen Garden, created in 1825 alongside the house, is within the 44.5 hectare (110-acre) Preston Hall park, once part of a wider estate. In its heyday it had a vine house, beehives and traditional flower beds as well as apple trees, vegetables and herbs.
However the 0.6 hectacre (1.5 acre) kitchen garden and its 0.8 hectacre (2 acre) orchard fell into disuse during the 1970s and for the next few decades was used only as a venue for various work training schemes. The planting has disappeared and all that remains of structures, such as the extensive range of glasshouses that once lined the north wall, are the original furnace houses used to heat them.
The grant means planning can now begin on reinstating the original pathways and walls and returning the garden to productivity. It's hoped the garden can become an educational resource, with growing sessions for local youngsters and talks on its history. As well as helping with the actual restoration, volunteers from the local community are also being encouraged to take part in the day-to-day maintenance of the gardens, including planting vegetables and growing fruit.