Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.himalayangarden.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | HIMALAYAN GARDEN & SCULPTURE PARK
Chairman Peter Roberts
Pagoda
Two-time winner of the Yorkshire In Bloom Best Visitor
Attraction award, The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture
Park is an open-air gallery set in a tranquil valley with more
than 80 contemporary sculptures. Within its 45-acre woodland
setting, the garden contains an arboretum, a pagoda, a summer
house, a Norse shelter, a contemplation circle and a number of
lakes. Chairman Peter Roberts established the garden more than
20 years ago, and tells
The Parliamentary Review
how it has
expanded and developed.
I opened the Himalayan Garden in 1998 as a private garden, and since that time,
it has been developed, landscaped and enlarged year on year: it started out at
three acres and is now 45. We initially chose the site because of its topography and
microclimate as well as the ideal soil conditions, water and an overstory of trees, all
of which are ideal for Himalayan plants. Because all the plants and trees grew so
well, we decided to open the garden up to the public for a few weeks in the spring
of 2005, and in 2012 I donated the land to the charity The Hutts Foundation,
which now runs the Himalayan garden and Sculpture Park.
Expanding and developing
As the garden has grown, we have built three lakes, acquired a collection of over
80 sculptures and built three unique architectural buildings which reflect the history
and character of the Himalayan region and the original occupation of our local area
by the Vikings. As the visitor numbers have grown from 1,000 to 20,000 during the
opening period of 12 weeks, we have been able to introduce a specialist nursery
FACTS ABOUT
HIMALAYAN GARDEN &
SCULPTURE PARK
»Chairman: Peter Roberts
»Established in 1998
»Based in Ripon, Yorkshire
»Services: Garden combining
both local and Himalayan flora
with a range of sculptures
»No. of employees: 8 plus 15
seasonal staff
»Best Business at the 2019
Yorkshire In Bloom awards
Himalayan Garden &
Sculpture Park
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | HIMALAYAN GARDEN & SCULPTURE PARK
Chairman Peter Roberts
Pagoda
Two-time winner of the Yorkshire In Bloom Best Visitor
Attraction award, The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture
Park is an open-air gallery set in a tranquil valley with more
than 80 contemporary sculptures. Within its 45-acre woodland
setting, the garden contains an arboretum, a pagoda, a summer
house, a Norse shelter, a contemplation circle and a number of
lakes. Chairman Peter Roberts established the garden more than
20 years ago, and tells
The Parliamentary Review
how it has
expanded and developed.
I opened the Himalayan Garden in 1998 as a private garden, and since that time,
it has been developed, landscaped and enlarged year on year: it started out at
three acres and is now 45. We initially chose the site because of its topography and
microclimate as well as the ideal soil conditions, water and an overstory of trees, all
of which are ideal for Himalayan plants. Because all the plants and trees grew so
well, we decided to open the garden up to the public for a few weeks in the spring
of 2005, and in 2012 I donated the land to the charity The Hutts Foundation,
which now runs the Himalayan garden and Sculpture Park.
Expanding and developing
As the garden has grown, we have built three lakes, acquired a collection of over
80 sculptures and built three unique architectural buildings which reflect the history
and character of the Himalayan region and the original occupation of our local area
by the Vikings. As the visitor numbers have grown from 1,000 to 20,000 during the
opening period of 12 weeks, we have been able to introduce a specialist nursery
FACTS ABOUT
HIMALAYAN GARDEN &
SCULPTURE PARK
»Chairman: Peter Roberts
»Established in 1998
»Based in Ripon, Yorkshire
»Services: Garden combining
both local and Himalayan flora
with a range of sculptures
»No. of employees: 8 plus 15
seasonal staff
»Best Business at the 2019
Yorkshire In Bloom awards
Himalayan Garden &
Sculpture Park
35HIMALAYAN GARDEN & SCULPTURE PARK |
LEISURE & TOURISM
for the sale of the plants representing
the garden, a café to provide simple
hot and cold food and drinks, a
children’s play area and an arboretum
with over 300 different trees in it. To
manage this, we employ six gardeners,
two management personal and up to
15 seasonal staff.
The garden now has over 20,000
plants including more than 650
species of rhododendron, many of
which were collected as seed in the
Himalayan region. In addition, we
have 250 azalea varieties and 150
magnolias. This ranks the garden as
probably the largest and most varied
collection in the North of England.
As a result of this becoming a major
visitor attraction, the garden has won
many awards including from Yorkshire
in Bloom, RHS Harlow Carr, Yorkshire
Rural Awards and the Ripon Civic
Society. The charity provides immense
pleasure to people from far and wide
in their visit to somewhere that is
completely unique.
As a result of the popularity of the
garden, we are planning to open it full
time from April to November in 2020.
Every year, we create new attractions
and are currently creating three
areas of wildflower meadows and a
collection of 600 ceramic Himalayan
poppies to commemorate the 75th
anniversary of VE Day, which we are
doing in conjunction with the Gurkhas
at Catterick Garrison.
Combining sculpture with the
natural environment
Last year, we completed the
installation of six unique sculptures
predominantly made from materials
gathered for the wood and designed
by eminent sculptor Subodh Kerkar.
In 2020, we are planning to further
the collection with other English
and overseas sculptors. In addition,
we are creating and rebuilding new
footpaths across the garden to
bring them up to the highest safety
standards and to cope with the high
visitor numbers. We have also installed
a biomass plant, which is supplied
by our own timber and provides
heat to our buildings, and have
improved our green credentials by
introducing biodegradable plant pots
and removing plastic bottles from the
tearoom.
The foundational ethos of our
organisation is to advance the arts,
horticulture and environmental
protection, focusing specifically on the
conservation of rare and endangered
plant species. We also aim to advance
the education of the public in both the
arts and horticultural skills, particularly
focusing on the cultivation of rare
plants and the use of sculpture within
natural and cultivated landscapes.
Camellia anticipation
The garden now
has over 20,000
plants including
more than 650
species of
rhododendron,
many of which
were collected
as seed in the
Himalayan
region
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | HIMALAYAN GARDEN & SCULPTURE PARK
Ever-tighter regulation
One of the primary challenges we face
is the recruitment of specialist gardeners
into our remote area of northern
England, especially as local colleges don’t
seem to encourage young people to go
into horticulture. Beyond this, we are
situated in a beautiful but remote valley,
six miles from Ripon, and we find real
difficulty in getting permission to install
directional and marketing signs for the
garden because of planning restrictions.
Over the 20 years we have been
open, the legislation and compliance
requirements we must adhere to
have become extremely onerous and
expensive, and the costs and difficulties
associated with hiring appropriate
seasonal staff have become more of a
challenge. As a result of this expansion
in legislation and regulation, our
expenses have increased substantially,
which has forced us to raise our
opening prices by more than 100 per
cent over the last six years.
These financial pressures are
exacerbated by the recent rises in
wages, and will be felt even more
intensely given the announcements that
the living wage will significantly increase
over the next couple of years. While we
believe that staff should be paid a fair
wage, these provisions place significant
financial pressure on organisations like
ours. Many tourism projects rely on
seasonal workers and having to pay this
new rate will likely add 20 per cent to
our wage bill. This can lead to the cost
being passed onto our visitors, which
can then in turn affect the number of
visitors we receive.
Fortunately, the efforts of Welcome to
Yorkshire, Go Yorkshire and Yorkshire
in Bloom have been extremely helpful
and have helped to raise our profile.
This, allied to our widening social
media presence, should help to
mitigate these financial challenges.
As we have now established ourselves
as one of the prime tourist attractions
in our area, we will be able to open
from April to November, creating
local employment and extra business
for our suppliers and associated local
businesses. We have investigated
providing holiday accommodation to
support the garden for which there is
significant demand, but we have met
with negative resistance from the local
planning department. Despite this, we
are confident that our unique appeal,
and our desire to keep improving our
site, should stand us in good stead
going forward.
As we have
now
established
ourselves as
one of the
prime tourist
attractions in
our area, we
will be able to
open from
April to
November
Meconopsis (Himalayan
blue poppy)
Contemplation circle

www.himalayangarden.com

This article was sponsored by Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development