Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

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Locals back plans for re-use of walled garden

Lone visitor surveys Bohemias overgrown secret walled garden  now the subject of a campaign to bring it back into use

Lone visitor surveys Bohemias overgrown secret walled garden now the subject of a campaign to bring it back into use

The budding potential of Summerfields walled garden has caught the interest of local politicians.
Susan Thomson of the Bohemia Walled Garden Association (BWGA) contacted Michael Foster MP, who has written to the Council’s Chief Executive in support of residents’ aims to restore the garden.
County Councillor Trevor Webb said, “For several months I have been asking council officers to make progress with the demand from residents for the walled garden to be brought back into use. In response council officers have now held a meeting with members from the BWGA. The association is putting together a proposal to bring the garden into public use and will submit this to the council. I will press for this proposal to be fully considered.”  He added, “I first visited Summerfields walled garden a number of years ago. It is a project with great potential for the local community if there is sustainable funding available.”
Cllr  Andrew Cartwright said, “Summerfields Woods is a gem – but the walled garden has long been neglected. However, the BWGA is making great progress in its efforts to have the garden restored. I urge local residents and businesses to offer the association their support.”
Cllr Kim Forward said, “I know the BWGA is striving hard to bring this fantastic resource back into use, and I’m pleased that the Estates Dept is working with the association. Their plans are very exciting and I’m particularly interested in how our local schools and children could be involved. I’m sure local people will continue to support their efforts.”
Susan Thomson told the Voice that Hastings Council’s Estates Dept, which is responsible for the garden, discussed the matter at their recent Property Management Group meeting. Manager of the Estates Dept, Amy Terry, said  “The council is anxious to try and get the garden back into use again. We have commissioned a consultant to produce a condition survey as soon as possible to establish the extent of disrepair of the wall. So there is a bit of momentum gained.”
Susan Thomson said, “It’s looking more as if it could be a garden centre, possibly with a nursery where we can sell things. We feel we’re moving forward!”

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