Florence Court Walled Garden win National Lottery Support

Florence Court Walled Garden win National Lottery Support
Published : 20 Sep 2017

We are delighted that Florence Court has been successful in its first round submission for the restoration of the Walled Kitchen Garden. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to work alongside volunteer and local communities to restore the Kitchen Garden, replicating its 1930’s glory.

The announcement means an initial £43,000 of the overall grant will be released to enable the second round project proposal to be developed with the National Trust contributing a further £45,300 towards this project development phase.

Jim Chestnutt, General Manager of our Fermanagh property group said: 'This is excellent news for the team at Florence Court especially our volunteers who for the past few years have been working hard to bring the Kitchen Garden back into cultivation. Thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to add impetus to the project creating more opportunities for volunteers, our local community and visitors to engage with this amazing feature at Florence Court and ultimately see the glass houses back in situ to complete the restoration of this historic Kitchen Garden to its 1930s layout.'

Sheila McClelland, Member of Heritage Lottery Fund NI Committee, added: 'We were delighted to award this initial grant to the Florence Court garden project. The National Trust team and volunteers have brought about a huge transformation in the walled garden. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, they can take the garden to the next level, expand on the work they have been able to do and provide more opportunities for people to get involved. The glasshouses will not only make the garden look more attractive to visitors but will provide some practical space for the garden team to extend their horticultural work. The garden is a beautiful thriving space and we wish the team well with the next stages of their project.'

Staff and volunteers gather to celebrate the news
Florence Court Walled Garden win National Lottery Support

Opportunities for all

This project will offer opportunities for individuals and families to get involved in everything from hands-on exploration of the garden’s archaeology and repointing of the walls, to pruning of heritage apple trees and harvesting of local and exotic vegetables which were de rigueur in the sustainable Irish estates of that time. It is proposed that the centrepiece of this project will be the erection of two replica glasshouses, which have been absent from the walled garden since the 1970s. As well as bringing the vision of a working walled kitchen garden to life, the glasshouses will offer a much needed space for hosting lectures, training and skill-sharing and provides the opportunity to offer internships to local horticulture students facilitating the teaching of propagation techniques and glasshouse growing skills.

The next stage

The detailed project proposal for the second round will need to show how the glass houses will be re-introduced and how wider benefits will be brought to the area. One of the keys will be getting more volunteers and local community groups involved.

The second-round bid needs to be submitted in March 2019 for a decision in June 2019. The anticipated project costs would be covered by a grant of £ 341,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund plus from £132,800 from the National Trust.

The mains elements of the bid include:

  • A suite of learning opportunities, from ‘Have a Go’ days to community archaeology digs.
  • Reinstating two lean-to glasshouses
  • New Kitchen Garden education programme
  • Oral History project
  • Community events
  • Introduction of horticultural placements
  • Volunteer opportunities

If you'd like more information on how to get involved with this exciting project contact Kate McGrath, Visitor Experience Manager, Florence Court. Telephone: 028 6634 8249.

Plants in the kitchen garden grown in the shape of a heart

Volunteering at Florence Court 

Do you want to spend your time learning, meeting people, and being part of a team? Florence Court has a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in.