CONSTRUCTION work has begun to create a new entrance way for the walled garden behind the Museum in the Park in Stroud.

The aim of the project is to open this 'hidden' garden to the community and offer new learning and public programming opportunities.

Left neglected for nearly half a century, the historic garden had become completely overgrown.

Now thanks to a series of grants, the Friends of the Museum are working on The Walled Garden Project to bring it back to life.

Plans drawn up for the space include four quarters, divided by a cross section of paths with a dipping pond at the centre.

The first quarter rises up to the garden level from the museum, and will include interpretation about the heritage of the garden, house and estate.

While the second quarter contains the newly built learning building called the Pavilion and terracing.

The third will include an orchard and meadow area and the fourth a culinary learning garden with a half moon open space.

To enable this key first stage to be completed the museum will be closed to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday September 1 and 2.

Museum learning officer, Ann Taylor, said: “We apologise for any disappointment the two-day closure may cause, however closing the museum is essential so that contractors can make vital progress towards opening up the garden for all to enjoy.

“The aim of the project is to open this 'hidden' garden to the community and create a new and inspiring, outdoor space where many different workshops, events and special activities can take place. Construction work in the months ahead will be noisy and disruptive at time, but we hope people will bear with us.”

The latest stage of the walled garden project is being made possible due to a grant of nearly £30,000 from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, from the Landfill Communities Fund provided by Cory Environmental.

The trust had already given £282,000 to the project, for the new learning pavilion. There have also been further pledges and funding from The Friends of the Museum, The Summerfield Charitable Trust, The Garfield Weston Foundation and other private trusts and individuals.

The museum will be open on bank holiday Monday from 11am until 5pm, and then re-open as normal at 10am on Thursday September 3.

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