BALI Award: Grounds Maintenance, Free Public Access Award— 2011
Stapenhill Gardens is a very popular local park, consisting of formal gardens, open grassland and woodland plus a popular play area. The site acts as a focal point for the community, with events held around the swan. The Landscape Group in partnership with East Staffordshire Borough Council Parks Department have delivered a high quality grounds maintenance service at Stapenhill Gardens since November 2006, the contract was retendered and subsequently re-awarded to The Landscape Group in 2011 for a further five years.
The Gardens were awarded their second Green Flag in 2011, recognising the high standards that the park is maintained to. In addition, Burton-on-Trent received the top Gold Award in the ’Small City’ category of the 2012 Heart of England in Bloom Awards, with Stapenhill Gardens playing a key part in the judging. Stapenhill Gardens and the Washlands was listed among the winners of Enjoy England’s 21 top dog walks in 2007.
Walking for Health
Sport East Staffs organise weekly walks from Stapenhill Gardens using volunteer leaders, these walks take place every Tuesday at 10.30am from Stapenhill Gardens (Bandstand) DE15 9AP.
This walk consists of 4 graded walks to accommodate all abilities and is well attended with between 10 and 20 people attending each week. Other walks around the area also take in the spectacular Stapenhill Gardens.
In order to maintain the grounds for future generations it has been necessary to undertake some bank stabilisation works. Whilst undertaking these works we have been able to improve the waterfront by installing steps leading down to the river cre¬ating an area ideal for feeding the many swans that inhabit the gardens.
Managing the Environment
The park is manned by a team consisting of two full-time dedicated fully qualified horticulturalists during the Sum¬mer months and one during the Winter months, who are supported by five full-time operatives. A specialist arboricultural team carry out all tree maintenance work which incorporates out of hours emergency calls.
The core works carried out include maintenance to all grass areas (mowing, edging, turfing, seeding and reinstatement); the planting out and the later digging out of all summer and winter bedding; maintenance to all horticultural features (herbaceous borders, shrub beds, carpet beds and specimen trees); litter and leaf clearance, weed control, and hard surface cleaning.
Initiatives have included the transformation of a grass bank which was causing health and safety issues to an ornamental shrub bed. A challenge to this contract includes the flooding to the gardens, as they sit alongside a river. This results in a clean up operation two to three times a year to repair damage caused and clean up any debris.
A further challenge is to maintain the historic look of the gardens. They were donated to the town in 1933 and once formed part of Stapenhill House, which has since been demol¬ished.
Environmental practices include green waste recycling. All green waste from Stapenhill Gardens is taken to the local allotment society and added to their compost and later used on the plots. The Landscape Group supplied and installed all concrete posts and panels to the allotment society to form the compost enclosure.
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