Tarmac has donated building materials and provided volunteers to help with the development of Gateshead’s new Swedish inspired garden at Saltwell Park.
The company has donated gravel, limestone boulders and Whinstone walling stone from its Northumberland-based quarries as well as bagged building sand and cement from its Tarmac Building Products business.
Led by Tarmac area director, John Riley, volunteers were provided by the company’s North East’s senior management team, who each offered support in the creation of The Buzzing Garden, a project which is being led by the National Garden Scheme (NGS) and Gateshead Council.
The new garden in Saltwell Park – one of the top 10 parks in the UK – is due to open during the World Transplant Games in August 2019 (which will be held in Gateshead Stadium).
The garden is the result of an international garden exchange between West Sweden and the North East of England. The transformed park will provide a focal point for educational, economic and cultural collaborations between the Swedish and UK communities along with attracting local visitors into the park to the benefit of the local economy.
John Riley, Tarmac’s Area Director, materials – north east, one of the volunteers, said: “As a regional employer in the area, I’m delighted to be associated with this fantastic project. Tarmac will continue to offer product support and volunteers to help realise the dream of creating a new garden for the people of Gateshead. We’re committed to supporting the communities we work and operate in and this was an opportunity to support the creation of a really exciting and valuable space for the people of Gateshead.
Cllr Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council, commented: "It is only through the generous donations of companies such as Tarmac, volunteers and the dedication of NGS Northumberland, Tyne and Wear team that this project is possible. We are hugely grateful both for the significant building materials that Tarmac has gifted us, but also for the many hours of volunteering its employees have given to the project to ensure that this project is finished on time.”
Maureen Kesteven, NGS County Organiser, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, and Regional Chairman, North of England, added: "This hugely inspiring project would not be possible without the support of the many local and international companies, including Tarmac, that have contributed funds, donations of materials, and volunteers from their workforce. The National Garden Scheme is extremely grateful for their commitment.”
The link with the National Garden Scheme is very significant in that it’s a charity registered in England and Wales established in 1927 to raise money for nursing and caring charities.
Last year alone it donated £3.1m to good causes. It’s the biggest donor to Macmillan, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and the Carers Trust, and this year will also include MIND.
The new British biodiverse garden will attract pollinators including butterflies and bees, and visitors will also be able to enjoy a meadow and a coastal area.
Other companies, organisations and individuals involved in the project include the HJConsul for Sweden, Caroline Theobald CBE, Helen Cadzow, Region Västra Götaland, Helen McArdle, Husqvarna, Pictorial Meadows, Johnsons of Whixley, Speedy Services, Swedish Orient Line, Trädgårdsresan, SealEco, Little Plant Company and Hadrian Healthcare.