Gateshead’s Swedish designed Buzzing Garden is due to open its doors to the public on Sunday August 18.
The project, a collaboration between the National Garden Scheme North East, Region Västra Götaland (West Sweden) and Gateshead Council, began in May, with help from main sponsor Tarmac.
As well as supporting with volunteering, Tarmac donated gravel, limestone boulders and Whinstone walling stone from its Northumberland-based quarries as well as bagged building sand and cement from its building products business.
The project has been funded by contributions from businesses and individuals who have given time, materials, resources and cash to make it happen.
John Riley, area director at Tarmac said: “It’s been a pleasure to be involved in something so new and different. We’ve helped wherever we could – supplying materials, lending equipment and we’ve particularly valued the opportunity for our staff to volunteer on the site.
“Supporting local communities is really important to Tarmac and this project has been an excellent way to make a real difference in the local area. We’ve had a number of team-building days at the site doing all sorts of practical jobs which has been really good fun as well as really rewarding. We hope visitors will enjoy the garden for a long time to come.”
Daniel McArdle, son of Helen McArdle CBE who made a donation, added: “We’re all realising that gardens and gardening deliver so many physical and mental health benefits – we’re pleased to sponsor this project and hope people will use it, enjoy it, watch it develop and maybe even volunteer to maintain it, as an opportunity to keep active”.
Local businesswoman Helen Cadzow of Cadzow Estates has played a big part in the project generously giving time and bringing key sponsors on board. Helen commented: “Coming from Gateshead myself, it’s been a pleasure to work on such an unusual project. I believe in investing with local people in mind and the Buzzing Garden will have lasting benefits to the community.”
Maureen Kesteven, National Garden Scheme County Organiser, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, and Regional Chairman, North of England, is leading the project. She said “This has been a fine example of collaboration to bring people together for something worthwhile. It has been great to have so much support and so much interest from businesses and local people. A real demonstration of how gardening brings people together – and at the end of it, there’ll be something that the whole community can continue to enjoy as well as an attraction for visitors to our region.”
Leader of Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon, said “This project has brought together people and businesses from all over the world and attracted real practical support from the public, private and voluntary sectors. Everyone has worked hard to make it happen and it’s a credit to all who’ve helped make a reality.”