Summer fun kicks off with the Big Garden Party

Last Saturday (8 June 2019) hundreds of people turned out for a free family event, hosted by Dacorum Borough Council which celebrated the regenerated Water Gardens in Hemel Hempstead.

The Water Gardens’ Big Garden Party was packed with free family fun, including AmeyZoo with its collection of exotic pets, children’s entertainment, nature and craft activities and street performers.

The Friends of the Jellicoe Water Gardens were on hand to answer questions about Jellicoe’s favourite garden and reveal the wildlife of the River Gade.

There were opportunities for traditional pastimes such as model boating, whilst Hemel Hempstead Library held a story-telling session.

Cllr Graham Sutton, Dacorum Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure said “I’m delighted so many people joined us to celebrate our beautiful and historic Water Gardens. It was a fantastic day showcasing the restored Water Gardens at their best.”

Dacorum Borough Council would like your views on the restored Water Gardens as your feedback will help them to evaluate the impact of the restoration project.

The online survey can be found on our current consultations page. You can obtain paper copies by emailing or by calling 01442 228000 and asking for Regeneration.


In 2017, Dacorum Borough Council completed a restoration project of the much-loved Gardens, returning them to their former glory. The project was funded by a £2.4m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund, which was topped up with an investment from the Council of more than £1 million.

Restoration project improvements included – seven new bridges, flower garden (opposite Bank Court) replanted, widened terrace, restored statues, new signage, renovated balconies, new play area, new lighting and resurfaced paths, environmental improvements including better water quality, planting to support biodiversity, fish passes, and a new building and community garden where volunteers, groups and schools can learn about gardening. The project also supports a programme of events and activities which take place throughout the Water Gardens.

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