We have more success to announce. The Friends of Danesbury Fernery were Gold Award Winners in the Category Historic Parks and Gardens on 20th September at the 2023 Annual Anglia in Bloom (RHS) Presentation Awards Ceremony in Huntingdon.
This is further recognition of all the work by many volunteers from Danesbury, Sherrardspark and Mardley Heath who started restoring Anthony Parson’s famous Victorian Fernery in an old chalk pit, and the amazing work of today’s brilliant Friends of Danesbury Fernery (FODF) Gardening Team who have since transformed it.
The Danesbury fernery was built in 1859/60 by Anthony Parsons, Head Gardener at Danesbury, with Pulhams the Rock Builders, but since been lost to generations.
- Built in an old chalk pit in 1859/60 by Head Gardener Anthony Parsons with Pulhams the rockbuilders
- Acknowledged in 1881 in the ‘Garden Memoranda‘ (a leading Garden journal of the time) as ‘the best Fernery to be found in the Home Counties’.
- Abandoned in the early 20th Century following the two World Wars and changes in ownership.
- Denuded of the last specimen ferns in 1924 by local prominent gardeners. (Alleged!)
- Restored from a derelict state starting in September 2015 by volunteers working in partnership with the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (the owners)
- Received a 2017 CPRE Commendation in the Award’s Community category
- First opened in June 2017 as part of the Welwyn Festival programme
- Awarded a 2018 Anglia in Bloom (RHS) Award in the Conservation category
- Opened under the banner of the 2023 National Garden Scheme.
- Received a 2023 Anglia in Bloom (RHS) Gold Award in the Historic Parks and Gardens category.
What better way to recognise the amazing work carried out by all the volunteers since we started in September 2015.
The following photo shows the Presentation of the 2023 Anglia in Bloom (RHS) Gold Award to FODF President John Roper and to Joseph Wilson Charry (WHBC Landscape Conservation Officer).