All change for Weston Park Museum garden thanks to Autism Plus and Postcode Local Trust

31st July 2017

Weston Park Museum's garden has been given a makeover this summer thanks to Autism Plus and Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Last autumn saw a major redevelopment of some of the exhibitions spaces and displays at Weston Park Museum. Now the museum's garden has been given a new lease of life to match. In late 2016 Museums Sheffield approached Autism Plus to come up with a new look for the museum garden. Autism Plus' social enterprise, Beanstalk Gardens, is a Royal Horticultural Society approved centre and provides work experience and opportunities in horticulture for local adults and young people with disabilities and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds. Weston Park Museum is home to the city's Natural Science collection, so Museums Sheffield asked Beanstalk Gardens to create a sustainable area for the local area's insect and small wildlife population, and introduce bee-friendly planting. The group then came up with three potential designs for the green space which were then brought together in a finalised vision for the garden and shrub bed surrounding the museum's main entrance. The creation of the new garden has been made possible thanks to the Postcode Local Trust, which is funded by players of People's Postcode Lottery. The charity lottery invites players to play with their postcodes to win cash prizes, while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally. To make way for the new plants and flowers, the area was cleared by another Sheffield social enterprise, Green Estate. Then over the following weeks, the Beanstalk Gardens team have been on site to carry out the planting, which includes Aubretia, Wild Marjoram, Thyme, Korean Feather Reed Grass, Snowdrops and more. To ensure the garden continues to flourish, Museums Sheffield has also contracted Beanstalk Gardens to tend to the ongoing maintenance of the area. Melanie Russell, Grants & Donations Officer at Museums Sheffield said: -We're hugely grateful to the Postcode Local Trust for awarding us the grant, and to Autism Plus and Beanstalk Gardens for all their creativity and hard work. We're thrilled with the new garden and I'm sure visitors to the museum will be too. James Lee from Beanstalk Gardens, who worked on the garden, said: -I like being outdoors and learning about plants and growing so I have really enjoyed being part of this project at Weston Park Museum.

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