A derelict space, transformed to its former glory as a walled garden after a £500K renovation project, has officially opened to the public.
The walled garden in Maghera, a once open field which was home to donkeys, has undergone extensive restoration by Mid Ulster District Council to recreate the former enclosed Victorian space which once flourished on the spot.
Old walls and gateways have been rebuilt and repointed, paths recreated, glasshouses replaced and original species nurtured back to life in the herb and flower beds.
Standing adjacent to the Church of Ireland rectory in the town, itself a listed Georgian building, the garden is also close to the Christian heritage site of St Lurach’s and is expected to become a must-see attraction for visitors to the area.
A teddy bears’ picnic, together with free family entertainment, was held to mark the garden’s first season and welcoming local people, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Linda Dillon, said:
“Spaces like this are never finished. They grow and develop, especially when they’ve been lying dormant like this one for many years, and that’s what so great about this garden.
“We can see it starting to take shape, but next Spring, next summer and the season after that and the season after that, the garden will mature and change and it will become an even more attractive place to visit.
“This is a really beautiful addition to the green spaces and parks in the Mid Ulster region”.
The opening was a celebration of the community’s involvement in the project which received funding through the INTERREG IVA (4a) programme managed by the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) and through the Landfill Community Funding scheme made available through River Ridge Recycling.