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18 Nov 2021

Free entry to RHS Garden Bridgewater for Salford residents extended to May 2023

- Over 270,000 visitors to the garden in its first six months of opening

- Free Tuesday entry for Salford residents extended by a further year

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s gardening charity, have extended free Tuesday entry for Salford residents to RHS Garden Bridgewater for a further year to May 2023.

Since opening on 18 May 2021, over 270,000 people have visited the garden, and more than 20,000 Salford residents have already visited the 154-acre garden for free on Tuesdays.

Head of Site Richard Green said: “The support of Salford residents has played a big part in the success of our first six months of opening, and we’re delighted to be able to provide an additional full year of free entry as a way of saying thank you. We hope many more members of the local community will visit and experience the positive benefits of gardens and gardening.

“One of the things we’re most excited about at RHS Garden Bridgewater is our spaces and activities dedicated to supporting health and wellbeing, skills development and life-long learning for the people of Salford. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and staff, and the support of Salford City Council, The Peel Group and our donors, we’ve already seen some really positive results from these programmes.”

Between June and November, almost 3,000 young people from the region’s nurseries, schools and youth groups have visited the Peel Learning Garden for free interactive education workshops. In Community Wellbeing, free weekly wellbeing sessions for local organisations are delivering sessions to groups including dementia patients, NHS workers, carers, Age UK, women’s refugee groups and high dependency residential home residents, along with Wellbeing Walks delivered in partnership with Salford Community Leisure. Nine local groups including Salford Loaves and Fishes, Recreate-U, Social adVentures, Salford Foundation Womens Centre and Coop Academy Walkden have also received growing spaces, tools, seeds and advice in the Community Grow Garden.

Already, the garden is delivering tangible benefits to the local economy, creating over 130 new jobs with almost half of those employed living with five miles of the garden.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “We’re delighted that this pioneering scheme of free weekly access to the garden for Salford residents, agreed between the RHS and Salford City Council, has been such a success. This was the first time the RHS has given free access to the community around one of its gardens so Salford continues to make its mark by doing things differently. It’s fantastic that so many residents and visitors from outside the city have already enjoyed this spectacular attraction.

Our vision is for the garden to be an international, national and community asset, creating a real public amenity and oasis for everyone, in amongst the city’s existing green assets. We hope as many local people and community groups as possible continue to benefit from it.

It’s even easier for Salford residents to visit the garden now that the first phase of RHS Greenway is open. This new traffic-free walking and cycling route runs along the north of the Bridgewater Canal linking Worsley and Boothstown to RHS Garden Bridgewater, enabling cyclists and walkers to enter the garden direct from the canal towpath. The final phase of the RHS Greenway is due for completion in March 2022. This will create improved walking and cycling links to RHS Garden Bridgewater as well as other local facilities including Walkden train station, Parr Fold Park and Boothstown Marina.”

Kate Holland, Head of Charity & Social Initiatives at The Peel Group said: “We’re extremely proud to be the founding partners of RHS Garden Bridgewater in addition to supporting the Peel Learning Garden and Education programme which sparks enthusiasm for gardening and the outdoors for the next generation.

It’s testament to the team at RHS Garden Bridgewater that they’ve already attracted so many visitors and school groups from the region to the garden and it’s fantastic that Salford residents will continue to be able to enjoy free access to this world-class attraction right on their doorsteps.”

RHS Garden Bridgewater is made possible by Salford City Council and The Peel Group. Salford City Council invested £19 million into the project which will bring substantial economic and tourism benefits to the city, its communities and the north west region. The Peel Group are custodians of the former Worsley New Hall estate where the garden has been created.