The Buzzing Garden –
a Swedish garden for Saltwell Park
In December 2018 the project to bring “a little bit of West Sweden to the North East of England” was launched. The idea was born when the National Garden Scheme (NGS) developed links with garden enthusiasts in West Sweden to help set up a Swedish version of the charity. That culminated in NGS Publicity Officer for the North East, Susie White, designing ‘A Classic English Garden’ for Jonsered Manor in Gothenburg to publicise the scheme. It was hugely successful with tens of thousands of people visiting in its first year. As a result an international garden exchange was established and a new Swedish-inspired public garden was designed.
With the Garden’s focus on plants for pollinators, it is entitled “The National Garden Scheme Buzzing Garden” and it is sited on a key site in Saltwell Park, Gateshead. Having identified the site, the next job was to attract sponsorship to pay for construction and maintenance. The NGS North East team worked alongside the Hon Consul for Sweden, Caroline Theobald CBE and Gateshead businesswoman Helen Cadzow to secure a range of support including financial contributions, skills, materials and equipment. By May 2019 the team was ready to press “go” and work began on site on May 20th.
The construction of garden has been overseen by the Northumberland/Tyne and Wear County Team and paid for without any financial input from the Council or the NGS. Gateshead Council welcomed the scheme and it has been fully supported the Friends of Saltwell Park.
Sponsors include Tarmac which supplied stone products, plant
and equipment, and volunteers, Plant/seed suppliers Pictorial Meadows
(Sheffield), SealEco supplied the pond liner,
Johnsons of Whixley helped with plants, Buildbase supplied timber,
Speedy Hire (plant/equipment) , Gardena (irrigation system) Helen McCardle Care
and Husqvarna made cash donations.
From Sweden Region
Vastra Gotaland /Tradgardseren also made a significant cash donation and
supplied Swedish Heritage plants shipped by Swedish
Orient Line. Manufacturer FaluRodfarg supplied authentic paint for the woodwork.
Other supporters include Buildbase and HireBase, A Little
Plant Company, Brewin Dolphin and Hadrian Health Care. Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue filled up the
pond. Wates (construction) supplied skilled volunteers at the finishing stage.
Volunteers were welcomed to help provide labour and in June the project took on an even wider international aspect when guests of a local church, 12 young people from eight different countries, did some, very much welcomed, heavy digging on flower beds.
The National Garden Scheme Buzzing Garden
Progress on the site has been watched with interest by many users and visitors to the park and the project has attracted local press coverage and a keen social media following.
There was a celebration of the creation of The Buzzing Garden on August 18th when George Plumptre (CEO) and Penny Snell (Vice President) from the NGS, local dignitaries, sponsors, supporters, colleagues and guests from Sweden, saw the finished garden for the first time.
The Garden is now maturing nicely and work is underway to
attract funding for its maintenance, focusing on how best it can be used for
the benefit of the community – as a site for training in horticulture and for
health and wellbeing. And of course as a
way of learning about and looking after our much needed pollinators.
For more information about The National Garden Scheme Buzzing Garden at Saltwell Park please visit:
Saltwell Harriers Sponsors the Friends
We are delighted to announce
that Saltwell Harriers, widely
regarded as one of the North East’s best running clubs, has
agreed to become a sponsor of the Friends of Saltwell Park.
128 years ago, the Harriers have a strong running
tradition, entering races in
the Pennines, Lake District and
Scottish Borders. In recent years the club has
considerable growth in numbers and now boasts more than
200 members. Their
runners can’t be missed at local events
such as this year’s Blaydon Race, where
over 100 took part.
The club also runs a Spring Series of races at six different
park runs in the region, including the
one at Saltwell Park.
Our photo shows a
group of Harriers preparing for one of
their frequent runs in the Park. Saltwell
Harriers often start
races with their battle cry of ‘Hoops’.
The sponsorship will bring
benefits to both parties. Saltwell
Harriers will be mentioned on the front
cover of the Spring
2019 Newsletter as our sponsor and have a quarter-page
advertisement inside the magazine. The club is also able to
use the Friends’
logo on their documents and feature on
the ‘Project’ page of our website. A
designated club member
will be invited on to the FoSP Committee, which will
Harriers influence activities in the Park. Friends are also
to use Saltwell Harriers’ logo in their literature where
appropriate and the
sponsorship money will greatly benefit
our work in the Park.
Running for Everyone
Saltwell Harriers is a very
inclusive club, tailoring training
sessions to ensure all abilities are catered
meet for training on
Tuesdays and Thursdays at Gateshead
Leisure Centre, 6.45 pm for a 7 pm start.
there are five different training groups which not only cover
ability but are also tailored to help members achieve their
which could be anything from improving
their technique to running fast enough to get a personal best
in a race.
Saltwell Harriers held a
Family Day in the Park as part of
their 125 year anniversary celebrations in
a great way
of thanking families for supporting members with their running.
For more information on the club please go to
Park, thriving at the heart of the community,
safe and secure as “the People’s
Park” for future
For a copy of our draft "Summary Document"
please contact us.