The Forum for 2016, as many of you will already know, will be taking place at Dumfries House in Ayrshire with visits to Walled Gardens of Galloway.
It will be a weekend event to be held on the 8th and 9th October. The theme for this year is: Community Gardens and Gardening
In 2007, HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, put together a proposal for Dumfries House and the wider estate to rescue, restore and ‘create a sustainable business that would help to regenerate the local economy in East Ayrshire’ (Dumfries House 2016). Fantastic restoration work on the house was followed by the gardens and estate and in 2014 the fully restored Walled Kitchen Gardens including 2 new glasshouses, were opened by HM the Queen.
At 5 acres, it is thought to be the largest walled kitchen garden in Scotland.
The gardens we will be visiting on Sunday 9th will include Cally Walled Garden, with its renowned nursery and Threave, owned by the National Trust for Scotland, a working walled kitchen garden used for horticultural training. Other gardens are in the planning and information about these will follow in due course.
There will be a range of speakers from gardens open to the public, including Brian Corr, Head of Gardens at Dumfries House, Kate Rycroft from Amisfield Walled Garden, East Lothian and Roz Corbett from City Farms and Community Gardens, Scotland, who will be discussing their experiences, ideas and solutions. Other speakers will be announced soon.
Brian and his staff will take us on tours of the gardens during the afternoon of Saturday 8th.
Friday 7th October – Although not officially part of the Forum, we are considering meeting at Culzean Castle Walled Garden, Ayrshire. If enough people are interested we will get a group together to visit this 18thC garden.
We have been really lucky to be able to arrange for accommodation at The Lodge, Dumfries House for Saturday 8th (they are fully booked before that date) for Forum attendees.
There are 22 rooms on offer and these will go on a first come first served basis. They must be booked through the office – not online. If you are interested, please let me know preferably with your booking, I will send you details of who you need to contact. Single £85, Double £100
We are organising dinner on Saturday night (8th) at Dumfries House, more details will follow, including cost per head, please can you let us know if you would be interested.
Excellent accommodation can be found in Ayr – Theo and Julian Stanning have suggested that Visit Scotland is the best place to look. If we visit Culzean on Friday 7th, many of us will be in Ayr before the Forum anyway.
There is some distance between Dumfries House and the gardens in Galloway so do consider this when you are looking at accommodation.
As ever you can contact us with any questions, we will send more information as the plans are confirmed, but if you know you are coming please let us know as soon as you can – we anticipate that it will be a busy Forum – not least as it’s only the second WKGN Forum to be held in Scotland.
The booking form is attached so please print and feel free to pass copies on to others who might be interested, the leaflet to down load will also be put on the Grapevine and website soon.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Lucy, Susan, Mike