Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sponsor a Sheaf to Save Fairhaven Garden’s Thatched 19th Century Boathouse - Norfolk Broads

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, at South Walsham, has launched a public appeal to help save the 19th century thatched boathouse beside the garden’s private broad. Visitors and friends of the garden are being asked to sponsor a sheaf of local Ranworth reed, or a sheaf of sedge, or buy a hazel brotch pin for the project.

Sponsor a Sheaf, Ian Guest Head Gardener (left) and Louise Rout Garden Manager (right) with supporters Gordon and Truda Craig and Lucie Ruddock launch the appeal in front of the boathouse
Structural work on the boathouse and thatching will cost £35,000. The Fairhaven Garden Trust has raised £20,000 for the project, including a £4,000 donation from Geoffrey Watling Charity, but a further £15,000 is needed to complete the restoration of one of the last remaining traditional wet boathouses on the Broads.

Fairhaven needs 1,500 sheafs of reed and 100 sheafs of sedge to complete the roof, along with 2000 brotch pins; £7 will buy a sheaf of reed,  £10 for a sheaf of sedge and a brotch pin for £1.75. Donations can be made online here or in person at Fairhaven Garden, School Road, South Walsham NR13 6DZ, t. 01603 270449,

Fairhaven Garden's 19th century thatched boathouse
Louise Rout, Manager, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden said: “We have been planning the restoration of the boathouse for a number of years, gradually raising funds, but a recent structural survey has shown that we need to act soon to save the building. We will keep a record of all reed, sedge and brotch pin donations and are planning a Facebook gallery of donors with their sheafs.  We would also love to hear from anyone who would like to do a sponsored walk or run in aid of the boathouse fund, or stage a fundraising coffee morning or tea party. We would be very happy to come along to special events and talk about the garden and plans for the boathouse.”

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is open daily 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day and closes 4pm in the winter), also open Wednesdays until 9pm from May to the end of August. Entry is adult £6.10, concessions £5.60 and child £3.60 (under 5 free).