Gold for historic gardens

Reader Pic'Oakwell Hall at Birstall    'Patrick Crowley
Reader Pic'Oakwell Hall at Birstall 'Patrick Crowley

Two of the area’s most popular visitor attractions have been handed gold awards by Yorkshire in Bloom.

The gardens at Oakwell Hall Country Park in Birstall and Red House Museum in Gomersal were both given the accolade for the second year in a row.

Oakwell’s new visitor centre, which has been partially funded by Arts Council England, particularly impressed the judges, who also praised Red House’s community engagement and the involvement of volunteers in its outdoor spaces.

“The award is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the remarkable volunteers who give up their time each week to keep the open spaces around these museums looking splendid,” said Coun Graham Turner, Kirklees Council’s member for resources.

Coun Turner praised the council’s garden ranger Amanda Walker as well as the voluntary Friends groups which support both sites, running events and raising awareness of the facilities.

“I’d like to give special congratulations to Amanda Walker and her team, the Friends organisations, our volunteers and all the people at Red House and Oakwell who have made this happen,” he added.

Red House’s gardens are themed around the museum’s 1830s heritage, and include flower displays, a serpentine walk and a pleasure ground with lawns and shrubbery.

This year, the gardeners have worked to achieve year-round colour with a focus on snowdrops and roses, and visitors can sit in and enjoy a drink in the Cartsheds while admiring the blooms.

The museum has hosted a midsummer garden festival organised by the Friends. The volunteers meet on Tuesdays from 1pm-3pm for garden maintenance.

Oakwell Hall’s 17th century gardens are located within the 110-acre country park, and feature an arboretum and habitats for a variety of wildlife.

The Oakwell gardens are known for looking spectacular throughout the year.

Volunteer gardeners work at the park on Thursdays.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help look after the gardens should contact amanda.walker@kirklees.gov.uk