Posted 21 April 2023
“I am delighted to say that work on the final ground works and construction phase of the Peace Garden started at the beginning of the Easter vacation and will continue during the summer term with a view, weather permitting, to having the Garden available to the community at the end of June."
L-R: Dean Lefeuvre, Henry Robinson, Ryan Dawes, and Grounds Manager, Mark Hall
Work has officially started on the construction of a Peace Garden on the Harper Adams University campus as a place for staff and students to relax and reflect away from their busy lives.
The project has been in planning for the past 18 months and has involved internal consultation and careful management to ensure the environment and wildlife surrounding the garden is protected.
Mark Hall, Grounds Manager at Harper Adams University and Project Manager, was one of the first on site before Easter getting stuck in, with the initial dig taking place near to the end of the pond to in front of the Main Building.
Learn more about the environmental work conducted to prepare for the garden construction through our latest blog.
He said: “We particularly wanted to choose this site here for the Peace Garden because it’s a part of the University that’s nice and quiet and it’s got that association with wildlife. I think it’s going to make a brilliant garden.
The introduction of the Peace Garden has been highly anticipated by many members of the community, including Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ken Sloan, who said: “Following preliminary work and a detailed environmental assessment and work plan that ensures the protection of the habitat for protected species including great crested newts, I am delighted to say that work on the final ground works and construction phase of the Peace Garden started at the beginning of the Easter vacation and will continue during the summer term with a view, weather permitting, to having the Garden available to the community at the end of June.
“Further planting will continue over the summer and autumn period in accordance with the optimal times for planting shrubs, perennials etc.
“The communications team will be providing updates to the community as work on the Garden continues. Thanks are due to all members of the community for their on-going work on this project.”
Harper Adams Students’ Union President, Jess Millbank added: "The Peace Garden will provide students and staff with a space for personal reflection. Peace Gardens are wonderful gathering places for healing and bringing people together. They help us to consider not only our immediate environment, but also, how we can better care for each other and our planet. The space will provide a critical quiet outdoor space to support wellbeing and to support mental health recovery as well as an ideal space for people to practice mindfulness.
“Each of us faces challenges at different points in life both personally and professionally. This critical space will provide a calm, natural environment to work towards developing our own inner peace, as well as providing a gathering place for remembering loved ones or celebrating special events."
Mark Hall added: “The peace garden is important because it’s a place for the staff and the students to have somewhere to actually come and sit, relax and reflect in a quiet, natural environment – we all need that little bit of an escapism now and again from the hustle and bustle of the busy working day, so this area – to come and sit in – will be really ideal.”
The Harper Adams peace garden will also serve as a place of remembrance for the Harper Community. The Chaplaincy Steering group will be convening later in the Summer term to explore and develop opportunities for our community to continue paying tribute to the students and staff lost.
This is part of the consultation work undertaken with students, the Students Union and The University.