RHS Garden Bridgewater
The stunning 154-acre RHS Garden in Salford with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is now open.
Although the COVID-19 situation delayed its opening, RHS Garden Bridgewater opened on Tuesday 18 May 2021.
The Masterplan was designed by renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith.
The much-loved presenter of BBC Gardeners' World and gardening writer Carol Klein is an Ambassador for RHS Garden Bridgewater. In this new role, the renowned gardener will champion the garden as it evolves. Speaking at the Salford site in Worsley, Klein said:
When I heard about the future RHS Garden Bridgewater I couldn't believe it: my grandfather's first job was as a garden boy at the garden - it felt like real serendipity. I am thrilled to be an RHS ambassador for this unique place, and I cannot wait to see how it develops.Carol Klein
Carol has strong local connections as she was born at St Mary's hospital on Manchester's Oxford Road, grew up in Walkden, Salford and went to school in Bolton.
Development of the garden
The RHS began works over the winter of 2016/2017, in collaboration with Salford City Council and the original landowners Peel Land and Property. The first stage involved preparing and clearing the grounds in the Walled Garden. Six rare-breed Berkshire piglets put their best trotters forward to help clear the site, eating the weeds, efficiently turning over and fertilising the ground.
The Bridgewater canal, just a stone’s throw from the garden, sparked the Industrial Revolution, and canal mania and is now powering the design of the kitchen garden. Designers Harris Bugg Studio have been inspired by Victorian maps of the canal and the network of Greater Manchester waterways that powered goods and people around the area. Their layout of the paths and planting beds has also been influenced by the network of fields which surrounded the former Worsley New Hall estate – combining beautiful planting with practical ideas to inspire visitors to grow their own fruit and vegetables at home.
The centrepiece of the masterplan is the historic 11 acre Weston Walled Garden. One of the UK’s biggest, measuring the size of six football pitches it features 11 gardens, including The Paradise Garden, Kitchen Garden, Wellbeing Garden and Community Grow Spaces.
Background to the development of RHS Garden Bridgewater
In late 2015, the RHS unveiled plans to create a stunning new 154 acre RHS Garden in the heart of the North West by bringing back to life the lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall in Salford.
It’s the biggest hands-on gardening project the RHS has undertaken in its 215-year history and the largest garden project in Europe.
The site forms part of the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater's estate and adjoins the Bridgewater Canal in Worsley, Salford.
The garden was made possible by Salford City Council and Peel L&P. Salford City Council invested £19 million into the project which will bring a wide range of benefits to the city from economic and social to community, health, education, cultural, heritage and tourism.
The ambitious landscape and horticultural aspirations for RHS Garden Bridgewater has created a major new destination garden amid the Northern Powerhouse, set to welcome and inspire visitors from around the country. The first phase of RHS Garden Bridgewater opened in 2021 as part of the RHS' wider ten year £100+ million investment programme to achieve its vision to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Thanks to an arrangement agreed between Salford City Council and the RHS, Salford residents can enjoy a free entry scheme on Tuesdays. City Mayor Paul Dennett negotiated the agreement, which also includes concessions at other times for Salford schoolchildren, carers with disabled visitors and special education groups.
After opening its doors, the garden will continue to grow with further investment, and the RHS’s ambitious future plans include an arboretum, a Northern College of Horticulture, an architecturally stunning glasshouse and renovation of the lost Nesfield terraces.