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Grant Enables Revival of Wolverton Secret Garden's Historic Bench

Who are Wolverton Secret Garden Society and what do they do?

The Wolverton Secret Garden Society is a community organisation dedicated to transforming neglected land into a vibrant greenspace for all to enjoy. Located alongside the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes, this initiative began in 1999 when members of the Wolverton Society for Arts & Heritage converted a derelict, overgrown plot into a communal garden.

Inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book, The Secret Garden, the society named their project after the mystical and magical garden in the story.

What support did Wolverton Secret Garden Society need?

The Wolverton Secret Garden Society faced a challenge when the old wooden benches, installed two decades ago, began to show signs of wear and tear, particularly rot.

One bench had already been removed, and the remaining ones were becoming targets for vandals due to their deteriorating condition.

What difference did the grant make?

The £3000 Small Grant allowed the society to commission the local group Men in Sheds to reproduce new benches in the same unique style as the originals, designed by Landscape Designer Stuart Hocking. While conventional suppliers offered standard designs, a visitor suggested Men in Sheds, who successfully recreated the original design, ensuring the garden retained its distinctive charm.

One garden visitor said:

“It’s so lovely that these new seats are replicas of the old seats with their unique design. And it’s great that there is the extra seat now overlooking the canal.”

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MK Community Foundation