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Walkden Gardens, once known as Moorside Nurseries, was generously donated to Sale Borough Council by Harry Walkden. Mr Walkden lived at the "Raft" on Derbyshire Road and it was his wish that after his death the land should be used for the good of the public; preferably laid out as a park, pleasure ground or botanical gardens.

In 1970 the local council commenced creation of the present gardens. The inspiration for their design sprang largely from Hidcote Manor Gardens situated on the border between Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.

Walkden Gardens are known locally as the 'Maze' presumably due to the ingenious layout of the beech hedges that border and define the various sections of the gardens. Children delight in playing 'hide and seek' around the hedges which form a splendid backcloth to the numerous flower beds and shrubberies that have developed over the years.

All of the paths throughout the 'Maze' lead to an interesting feature. For example there is a 25 metre long laburnum arch, a fuschia garden, a theatre lawn, a cherry walk and many more delights for the eye.

The Gardens have been described as an 'oasis in a desert' but over the years they have tended to deteriorate. However, a group called 'The Friends of Walkden Gardens' was formed in February 2001 with the objectives of stopping this deterioration and of restoring them to their former glory.

We are making good progress and have the support of local ward Councillors, the Leader of Trafford Council, Police representatives and the local community.
With the general decline of respect for public property by a certain element of our society, we have to change aspects of the Gardens to make them more vandal proof.

Our main concern is to erect strong railings round the perimeter of the gardens and to have a secure gate at the entrance. Trafford Borough Council have told us that they will apply for a grant towards the cost of the railings, but as this will take some time, we are keeping busy with many other projects designed to enhance the Gardens.

Ward Fuschias have delighted us by agreeing to restore and maintain the fuschia garden next to the laburnum arch.

The future of Walkden Gardens is no longer bleak, in fact it is positively bright, as we intend to hold concerts, fun days, nature walks and many other activities which will bring the gardens alive so that young and old alike can enjoy this unique green and beautiful space, just as Mr Walkden would have wanted.


Jenny Fogg
Chairman, FOWG

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