Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens Trust is celebrating its 35th Anniversary in 2020 and will thank volunteers and the local community for their support as they look forward to the next 35 years and beyond.

Since 1985 over 5 thousand local volunteers have given over 9,000 hours of their time each year, over 50,400 hours in total, to restore and maintain the Gardens back to its original 18th Century beauty. The 35th Anniversary gives an opportunity to thank them and to engage with a wider audience encouraging them to support the Gardens to ensure its existence for future generations.

The anniversary celebrations will start on Sunday 28th March with an exclusive Garden party for past and present volunteers and trustees, an opportunity for old and new friends to get together, share stories, reminisce and celebrate the achievements of the past 35 years. In the afternoon the Gardens are opening its door for FREE so that everyone in the community can visit and enjoy an exhibition looking back at the Gardens throughout the years.

A growing number of families are enjoying the Gardens Unplug and Play programme aimed at providing low cost, easily accessible activities for younger children (3-11) in the outdoors with a 77% increase in families visiting these sessions in 2019.

Unplug and Play offers supervised craft sessions inspired by nature and the opportunity for children to explore an outdoor environment that includes a holly maze, a spinney, a heritage apple orchard, wildflower meadow areas, three ponds, a birdwatching area and a solitary bee garden.

To thank families for their support a further 35th Anniversary event will take place during May half-term 2020 focusing on 350 years of history in the Gardens.

Glynis Powell, General Manager said: “The 35th Anniversary is the perfect opportunity for us to thank everyone who has been involved with the Gardens over the years, without whom this important piece of heritage would cease to exist.

It also gives us an opportunity to look forward and assess how we can grow and engage with even more people in the future”.

The Trust has been dependent upon regular grants from the local authority and funding from grant-making trusts to supplement visitor income. With the growing audiences the Trust is now reducing its reliance on these sources and looking at other ways to drive additional income via membership, secondary spend in the café and shop, and private hire and weddings.

In the future Castle Bromwich Historic Gardens will continue to expand volunteering opportunities, both in volume and in range, and include the development of specific skill sets that can enhance employability.

It will continue its educational work and fulfil its environmental purpose – actively supporting wildlife and biodiversity.

Future development plans are being assessed and it is hoped that funding will be sourced for a new visitor centre, that will house office space, classroom and community facilities and a new café overlooking the Gardens.

Glynis added; ‘Visitors can support the Garden in a  number of ways, by visiting, donating, buying a membership or leaving a legacy and through this support they will help to retain over 350-years of history and provide a sense of place and identity for an area that has seen massive changes’.

Find out more at www.castlebromwichhallgardens.org.uk or call 0121 749 4100.