Sunday 3 July is the150 anniversary of Gensing Gardens, bought for the town in 1872. The site was originally known as Gensing Wood. Like other gardens of the period it featured a carriage drive, but was made distinct by the presence of subtropical plants. 

Gensing Gardens came into its own in lockdown when families sought refuge in its greenery, and maintained some sense of community playing table-tennis and holding picnics. 

Last winter, A Town Explores a Book planted five apple trees as part of their celebration of this year’s featured book, The Diddakoi, by Rumer Godden. In April, Jake Bowers’ statue of Kizzy Lovell, the main character in the book, was temporarily on display, and it is hoped that the statue will be granted planning permission to be installed in the gardens permanently.

A Town Explores a Book has been awarded grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Foreshore Trust to run workshops in the park throughout the school summer holidays, and will be publishing a map of the park celebrating its 150+ trees.

On Sunday 3 July, at 3pm, local residents and those who use and love the park are invited to meet at the mini apple orchard by Charles Road to wish Gensing Gardens a happy birthday. This will also be the inaugural meeting of Friends of Gensing Gardens – a community group set up to help look after the park and plan its future.

Newly elected Gensing Ward Councillor, Amanda Jobson, says: “I’ve been talking to residents about what they would like in Gensing Gardens. Ideas so far have included a composting scheme and a bike pod for people who live in nearby flats. I’ll be there on Sunday 3 July and look forward to hearing more of your suggestions.”

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