Friends plan for Water Gardens’ future

A committee dedicated to restoring Hemel Hempstead’s historic Water Gardens met for the first time last night to discuss the progress of the project.

Garden historian Kate Harwood introduced the meeting with a talk about the landmark’s historical significance, with archive images of the site taken while it was being built.

MCHG 12-1043  Water Gardens iin Hemel Hempstead due for Lottery funds.

MCHG 12-1043 Water Gardens iin Hemel Hempstead due for Lottery funds.

Kate said: “Architect Geoffrey Jellicoe said that if you have the town centre and a garden interlocking, it would not only increase footfall in the town but it would also increase expenditure per head. This is still relevant today, but the gardens have fallen into disrepair.”

The Friends of the Water Gardens also heard Claire Covington, responsible for strategic planning and regeneration at Dacorum Borough Council, introduce the vision for the future of the area.

The plans, which include restoration in keeping with Jellicoe’s original plans, green-screening to soften the appearance of the Water Gardens car park and replacing the signage, furniture and lighting, depend on the success of the second round application for Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery funding over the next year.

Claire said: “Works on the ground will not start until 2015, but this meeting was about understanding how people use the Gardens at the moment.”