Centenary Green in Wisbech has been formally opened by the Director General of the National Trust.
Dame Helen Ghosh travelled to Wisbech for the ceremony last Wednesday, which saw people involved in the £80,000 community project brought together, from councillors and businesses to volunteers from Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House.
The garden commemorates Octavia Hill, one of the founders of the National Trust, and marks the centenary of her death in 1912.
Dame Helen spoke of her admiration for Octavia and said she was interested in her for many years before joining the trust.
“Walking around the Birthplace House,” she said, “I now know two things. That Octavia Hill was one of the most important figures in housing associations and that women get things done.”
She also told those gathered that Octavia Hill was focused on moving on and changing and that is what the National Trust needs to be doing as well.
Among those people who travelled to be at the event was Japanese project research associate Misato Kimura, from Seigakuin University, who is a member of the Octavia Hill Society. She has been researching Octavia Hill and Peter Clayton is planning to make her branch secretary.
Last week’s opening follows a busy summer of Wisbech businesses and residents using the community open space. Peter Clayton said it has been in “daily use from dawn to dusk by all ages”.
The project was made possible through a £35,500 grant from not-for-profit environmental body WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Limited), backed by funding from Fenland District Council and the National Trust. Donations and work in kind also came from community organisations, individuals and companies including Foster Property Maintenance Ltd.