WORK is nearing completion on the final phase of a landmark project at Ellesmere to mark the centenary of the Save the Children charity, founded by the Jebb sisters.

Horticultural students from Derwen College – in Gobowen – are putting finishing touches to the new Jebb memorial garden, which will provide a colourful backdrop to a major art installation next to the town’s ere.

Two sculptures and a labyrinth pathway were completed last summer as a tribute to the pioneering work of Eglantyne Jebb and her sister, Dorothy Buxton, who launched the charity in 1919, at the end of the First World War.

Now, trees, shrubs and flowers have been planted in newly-created borders alongside the sculptures at the main entrance to Cremorne Gardens, just a mile from the country house where the Jebb sisters were born.

New information boards and a bench-seat are also being installed as part of the centenary project, which has been led by volunteers from the Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative in partnership with Shropshire Council, Ellesmere Town Council, Save the Children, local schools, businesses and community organisations.

A dozen students from the Derwen’s ‘Leaf it to Us’ enterprise have been involved in the planting project, and team leader Dan Foster said: “We drew up a planting plan more than a year ago using locally-sourced plants and shrubs.


"But we’ve had to make some changes because of effects of the Covid pandemic and this has also restricted the number of students deployed on site.

"This is the latest of a number of schemes that we’ve carried out in various parts of the county and it provides valuable work experience for our students.”

More than a dozen Eglantyne rose bushes have been planted in the new garden, and the Tudor Griffiths Wood Lane Quarry on the outskirts of Ellesmere has supplied large rocks to be placed between the plants.

Shaun Burkey, sites manager (North) for Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Partnerships Service, which looks after the Ellesmere beauty spot, said: “We’re delighted that a new partnership with Derwen College has been established to enable students to create and maintain flower beds within the Jebb garden.

"We're also grateful to the ‘Friends of the Mere’ for generously funding the new plants and to the Sculpture Initiative for their support in developing this outstanding new visitor attraction at the Mere.”

The sculpture group’s artistic co-ordinator Trudi Graham, added: The Derwen trainees have done a tremendous job in developing the Jebb Garden in time for Easter.

"Hopefully, it will encourage more people to visit the town and follow our sculpture trail around the Mere and other parts of the town.”