Johnsons provides plants for £2.29m revival of historic park where football legends honed skills

Yorkshire-based professional nurserymen Johnsons of Whixley have been recruited by Brambledown Landscapes to provide the plants and trees for the latest phase of a multi-million-pound project to revamp an historic park.

Johnsons has supplied plants and trees worth £20,000 to the scheme at Hirst Park in Northumberland, which has been funded by a £2.29m Parks for People grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Johnsons supplied more than 50 trees worth £9,000 as well as a range of plants including 262 Stipa Tenufolia, 188 Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and 250 Sedum Spectabile ‘Brilliant’. Also included in the supply was a range of rhododendron varieties and 126 Persicaria ‘Darjeeling Red’.

The first stage of the project at the park, in Ashington, began in early 2018 with the removal of dead, dying and dangerous trees. The replacement trees were planted over the winter of 2018 to ensure minimum disruption during bird nesting and bat roosting seasons.

It is estimated that the project to transform the park, where legendary footballers Jackie Milburn and the Charlton brothers played as youngsters, will take five years to complete.

Landscaping work is being carried out by Johnsons’ client Brambledown Landscape Services, and will include the creation of a formal garden, water play feature, horticultural training building where families can learn to grow their own vegetables and a New Food Circle, operated in partnership with Northumberland College.

Eleanor Richardson, marketing and sales co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “We are really excited to be able to get involved in this project. Our products will bring life back to Hirst Park and ensure it is a place to be enjoyed for many years to come as it has been in the past.”

Brambledown director Paul Curry added: “We have a wonderful relationship with Johnsons of Whixley, who have been supplying trees on our schemes for many decades. This prestigious multi-million-pound HLF Park at Hirst in Ashington, Northumberland, is one of many large park improvement schemes we have carried out over the years where Johnsons have provided Brambledown Landscapes with trees and shrubs which help transform the park.”

 

Once the scheme is complete, events will be held at the newly refurbished park to help people learn more about the heritage of the park, the local area and the people in it.

Based between York and Harrogate, Johnsons of Whixley is a family-run business and is one of the largest and longest-established commercial nurseries in the UK. The company will celebrate its centenary year in 2021 and is a trusted supplier of plants and trees to the amenity sector.

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