In the 1990s a group of dog walkers, united by both their love for the park and dejection in its decline, came together to form The Friends of Leazes Park, a small, local charity dedicated to the conservation and development of the natural, built and historic environments of the park.
The Friends were successful in fighting a proposal to extend the adjacent football ground into the park. They were also instrumental in securing £3.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2000, to restore this Grade II listed park to its original condition; their ‘sweat equity’ contribution to that bid was over £40,000.
In 2004 the restored park was officially opened. Around this time the Friends identified the need for a garden area in the park which would be a resource for the local community and a quiet reflective seating area for park users, especially hospital patients, staff and visitors. Our campaign was supported by Newcastle City Council and a Friends Garden was included in a programme of development works for the park. However it was some 14 years later that construction eventually commenced in 2018 and was completed in Spring 2019.
The Friends are committed to planting and maintenance in the Friends Garden and have raised over £10,000 in recent years to carry this out; our volunteers started planting in Spring 2019 and continue to care for this area with an ongoing programme of work. The garden includes trees, shrubs, lawned areas and sensory raised beds. We have also created a rose garden and wildflower area which produce a lovely summer display and have been especially popular!