“We also clear debris from our main dykes, using traditional Broads cromes. This in turn is used to fertilise our wonderful candelabra primula collection. The winter spring clean takes until the end of February. The support of our volunteers, including our Women in Wellies group, which meets every Friday morning, is a great boost to the gardeners, who really value their help in this lengthy task.”
Kirsty Rose is one of the garden's regular volunteers. She lives locally and has been on a Nansa supported community work placement for nearly two years. Kirsty is also a member of the Women in Wellies group and joins in on Fridays with her sister Emma.
Kirsty said: “I really enjoy getting involved in my local community and working in the Women in Wellies group with my sister. I love working outdoors and listening to the birdsong in the garden.”
Mary McCambridge, Nansa's outreach supervisor, who regularly works with Kirsty in the garden, said: “The partnership with Fairhaven is fantastic. Everyone is very supportive and they invite Kirsty to all the social activities. She really feels part of the team.”
Nansa www.nansa.org.uk is a Norfolk based charity which supports children, families and adults with physical, sensory and learning disabilities.
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, t. 01603 270449,www.fairhavengarden.co.uk.
The garden is open daily all winter 10am to 4pm . Garden entry is adults £6.75, concessions £6.15 and children £3.85 ( Fairhaven members and under 5 free). Free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.
There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and boat trips (April to October, additional charge). Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance, mobility scooters available.
Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.
Mary McCambridge Nansa and volunteers Kirsty Rose and Sue Halford