Elford Hall Garden Project
Tucked away at the back of a sleepy Staffordshire village stood a huge brick wall hiding a vast, derelict wasteland with a fascinating history.
Elford had a secret garden, the story needed to be told and the land returned to use.
Thanks to the dedication of volunteers, villagers, support from local businesses, and lottery funding, the garden has bloomed again.
This photograph shows the garden as it was in 2009 when the restoration project began.
Since then, extraordinary transformations have taken place and a valuable amenity has grown in place of what was once an inaccessible jungle that covered the site.
Recognised by Royal Horticultural Society awards since 2011 and with awards of OUTSTANDING every year since 2014, the project goes from strength to strength.
In the Jubilee Year of 2012 the project was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This secret garden has since become a popular venue for visitors of all ages.
Elford Hall with its long history and large estate, was given to the Birmingham Corporation by the Squire of Elford, to be used by the people of Birmingham to enjoy.
Eventually, the hall fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1964. The estate property was gradually sold off by the Birmingham Corporation and by 2008, very little of the original estate remained. It was at this time when the site of the walled garden was put up for sale as development land, an action group was formed in Elford and the group managed to gain permission from Birmingham Corporation to allow them to try to rescue the site and turn it into a community garden and an amenity to be enjoyed by the general public.
Thanks to generous funding from a variety of national and local organisations, plus donations of money and materials from many sources, a small army of enthusiastic volunteers got to work early in 2009.