First details of RHS Garden Bridgewater Master Plan are announced

Tuesday 12 April 2016

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has revealed the master plan for the new RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford. World-class landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, who was appointed to create the plan in November, has shared his initial proposals for the 154-acre garden, which will bring back to life the lost historic grounds at Worsley New Hall, Salford.

Key elements of the aspirational horticultural master plan include:

• An entrance garden laid out like a web and planted as a perennial meadow
• A new lake which anchors the new visitor building within the landscape
• A water garden of interlocking streams and rocky waterfalls
• The reconstruction of the historic walled garden, to include a therapeutic garden, vegetable garden and flower garden
• A new Learning Centre

RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, says: “These plans are at their earliest stages and may evolve as the garden develops, but they give a clear idea of the scale of our ambitions for this beautiful garden. I am grateful to Tom for his inspirational vision. We have an enormous task ahead of us but this plan will underpin and help us to shape everything that we do.”

Tom Stuart-Smith said: “RHS Garden Bridgewater is a perfect site for an RHS Garden, and these proposals are aimed at retaining the most historic aspects of the garden while reinterpreting and revitalising it.”

On arrival to the garden visitors will be able to wander through a large garden planted as an extensive perennial meadow, with a network of web-like paths, which will lead them to the historic walled garden.

A new visitor building, to be designed by Cullinan Studio, and adjacent car parking facilities will be located at the southern edge of the site to avoid affecting the garden’s greatest assets – its existing structures, landscape and mature trees. A large open café terrace to the east will allow visitors to enjoy refreshments while looking over the water and into the heart of the garden.

The immediate surroundings of the new visitor building will make a strong connection between the walled garden at one end of RHS Garden Bridgewater and the historic terraces and lake at the other. A new lake will link the visitor building to the heart of the historic landscape of the garden, which is formed by the Nesfield terraces and the original lake. A water garden of interlocking streams and rocky waterfalls will further link the two and draw people along its length, creating a strong visitor circuit around the garden.

The magnificent ten-acre walled garden, one of Worsley’s most impressive original features, will be the magnificent piece de rèsistance of the first phase of RHS Garden Bridgewater. It will comprise an impressive sequence of three walled gardens. The outer walled garden will include a mix of ornamental and productive gardening, and a therapeutic garden, while the intermediate garden will concentrate on vegetable and fruit production. At the very centre will be a flower garden based on the concept of the Paradise garden, complete with a lily pond. A new Learning Centre will be located at the north east corner of the walled garden.

The 154-acre RHS Garden Bridgewater is planned to open in 2019 as part of the RHS wider 10-year £160 million investment programme to achieve its Vision to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Tom Stuart-Smith’s master plan sets out the overall vision for the garden, assessing its current condition and outlining the conceptual approach for its future. All plans at this stage are subject to lease and planning permission.

The RHS is working with the owners of the historic estate, Peel Land and Property, and Salford City Council, to bring the historic garden to fruition.


Notes to editors

Tom Stuart-Smith has designed eight Gold medal-winning gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show, with three being awarded Best in Show. He has also designed a number of large private gardens, including a new garden at Windsor Castle to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee. He was also responsible for the redesign of the Italian garden at Trentham. He previously worked with the RHS to design the garden around The Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley, which opened in 2007.

For more information, please contact the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3043, email or call Hannah Dolby on 0207 821 3042.

Images of RHS Garden Bridgewater are available on PhotoShelter. Registration is a simple process and free of charge. Please contact to gain access.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows, through our scientific research, website, publications, libraries, education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants. We’re committed to promoting the value of gardens, demonstrating how gardening is good for us and explaining the vital roles that plants play in a sustainable world.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a
healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262





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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

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