Restoration of Great Yarmouth’s historic Venetian Waterways is well underway, with volunteers working alongside contractors to bring the park back to its former glory.
Since ground was broken in June 2018, contractors have removed the 1960s extensions to the Boating Lake Island Café, stripped back and reinstated the garden beds, excavated and cleaned the rockery, reinstated the pergolas, and are continuing the extensive concrete restoration across the site.
The Island Café, model boat club hut and two Waterways shelters have already been thoroughly re-thatched, while the contractor is continuing restoration work on the concrete bridges, crazy paving and dragon-tooth edging, and reinstating the rockeries.
Currently, volunteers are working alongside recently-appointed Waterways gardeners, Ian Guest and Duncan McKinnell, plus new horticultural apprentice, Simon Swallow, to put in some 6,500 plants, with this gardening work set to finish in the next few weeks. Around 75 per cent of the planting is now complete, with much completed by volunteers from Great Yarmouth Green Gym.
The original planting scheme was exhibited at the 1928 RHS International Exhibition of Garden Design, where it was considered bold for moving away from familiar seaside bedding and instead using perennials and annuals in drifts.
College students, working with the preservation trust, will also soon begin joinery and carpentry works on the wooden and steel bridges and the weather shelters, while contractors are completing the heavy landscaping and engineering.