The refurbishment of a much-loved public garden in Dereham will start on 18 July. The Queen Mother’s Garden, which sits between St Withburga Lane and Church Street, was opened and dedicated to the Queen Mother in 1983. The refurbishment of the gardens is being led by Breckland Council and Dereham Town Council as part of the ongoing Platinum Jubilee celebrations and will modernise the public space and make it more accessible to different groups.

The improvement works will see a new path laid, new eco-benches installed, bird boxes painted by local school children, a community book swap cupboard and new planting put in place. The garden will include sensory plants which are particularly beneficial to children and people with dementia.

Cllr Paul Hewett, Breckland Council’s Executive Member for Property and Projects commented: “We are delighted to be working with Dereham Town Council on this prestigious project honouring the Queen Mother and benefiting both residents and visitors to the town. The garden has tremendous potential to become a real gem in Dereham and a valuable space for nearby schools and residents with dementia. Dereham has enjoyed this public space for 40 years and the launch of the refurbishment will ensure this beloved royal garden keeps blooming for another four decades and beyond.”

Cllr Hugh King, Mayor of Dereham Town Council, commented: “I am delighted to see work start on the Queen Mother’s Garden, ensuring this wonderful public garden in Dereham is refurbished for the benefit of our residents. In the Platinum Jubilee year, it is truly fitting that the gardens are given a new lease of life, that will be enjoyed by residents for decades to come.”

Funding for the project has come from Breckland Council’s ‘Thriving Places’ programme, aimed at supporting town centres to thrive and prosper and Dereham Town Council. The refurbishment is expected to run until autumn this year.

The Queen Mother paid a visit to see the popular public space for herself when it opened in the early 1980s.

(Source: Breckland Council)