Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens

Friends of Jellicoe group

The Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens volunteer group has been helping with the plans to restore the Gardens, joining in with the gardening and sharing the Gardens' history and heritage.

They've been instrumental in our successful Heritage Lottery bid, and even starred in a short film that was presented to representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund as part of the Stage 2 bid process. The Friends were filmed in the Water Gardens talking about the restoration project and the importance of the Gardens to Hemel Hempstead. You can watch the video on YouTube 

For more information, to join the group, or to regularly receive the Water Gardens newsletters, please complete the  Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens welcome pack (PDF 229KB) and email to or contact Emma Cooper on 01442 228352.

Visit, like and share their Facebook page.  

Next meeting

To be confirmed.

Recent activities

The Triangle Community Garden visit (29 April 2016)

Allotment at The Triangle Community Garden HitchinThe Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens had an inspiring visit to the Triangle Community Garden in Hitchin on Friday 29 April. The Triangle garden features a forest garden, outdoor classroom/ pollinator garden, mature Cordon fruit trees, pond, woodland, willow maze, allotments and a pavilion. 

The Friends gained knowledge from Project Leader Liz McElroy and volunteers who shared their experience of running a community garden. They came away with ideas for activities and events they could run in the new Community Garden growing area, which will open in the Water Gardens on completion of the restoration project.

Bushey Rose Gardens rose pruning workshop (7 February 2015)

Eight Friends gained skills in rose pruning on a very cold morning at Bushey Rose Gardens with Head Gardener, Ami. They were given a demonstration followed by some hands-on experience. Friends used their secateurs to prune the roses under the watchful eye of Ami. It was a very informative session. They will use these skills to help us maintain the many roses in the restored Flower Gardens, while also practising on roses in their own gardens. 
Rose pruning demonstration by Ami Head Gardener at Bushey Rose GardensFriend pruning roses at Bushey Rose Gardens     

River Fly training (7 February 2015)

Two Friends attended a River Fly training session in the Chess Valley. They gained skills that will enable them to conduct future invertebrate surveys in the restored Water Gardens. 

Oral History training, British Library

Three Friends recently attended an Oral History Training Day at the British Library. This will help them to run an oral history project to record people's memories of the Gardens in their heyday.If you would like to get involved in this project, please email


Cliveden (18 June 2015)

Friends in Cliveden rose gardens

Friends had a delightful day at Cliveden. In the morning Kate Harwood gave us a highly informative tour of the grounds. After lunch we visited the recently restored Jellicoe Rose Garden with Landscape Architect, Claire, who gave us a very interesting talk on the project which she has been involved in from the outset. We invited her to see our Jellicoe Water Gardens when completed.

Wildlife Day (24 January 2015)

Our wildlife event in the Jellicoe Water Gardens was a great success, attracting many visitors. The public saw timber from some of the felled trees planed into planks by a saw mill, made into bird and bat boxes by carpenters and put up into trees in the Gardens by our tree surgeons. The RSPB were present, giving information on the weekend's annual Big Garden Birdwatch. There were also displays of bird feeders made from recycled materials.

Children had fun decorating their own bird feeders to take home, together with bird-spotting dials to assemble. Plans for the restoration project were on display, providing an opportunity for the public to raise any questions they had. Excess timber has been stored at Sunnyside Rural Trust to use for future bat and bird box-making workshops. 

Sawmill at Wildlife Day in The Jellicoe Water Gardens used to cut planks from felled trees for making bird and bat boxesBird boxes made from felled timber in the Jellicoe Water Gardens at our Wildlife Day

Halloween in the Water Gardens (25 October 2014)

Sunnyside Rural Trust stall

Great fun was had by all at our Halloween event. Children enjoyed Halloween-themed ghoulish games and a pumpkin trail through the Water Gardens. Further excitement was provided by exotic pet specialist AmeyZoo, who set up a scary display that included tarantula, skink and a giant millipede.

Sunnyside Rural Trust sold a wonderful selection of home produce from its local farm shop, including pumpkins, pattypan squash, chutneys and handmade dog biscuits. The latest plans for the Water Gardens restoration work were on display. Friends talked to visitors about the plans and how they can get involved in the project. 

Bat walk

On Thursday 25 September, 2014, Liz and Rodney from the Friends of Jellicoe Water Gardens led a large,enthusiastic gathering around the Water Gardens searching for bats.

Jacqui Sander, Community Engagement Officer for the Water Gardens, gave a brief overview of the restoration project and a short talk on the plans for the flower garden. Just after sunset, Pipistrelle bats were spotted flying high up and were heard on the bat detectors, much to the delight of all.

Hemel Evolution consultation day

The Friends had a stall at the Hemel Evolution Consultation Day on Saturday 12 July, 2014. There were a range of activities taking place in the Gardens throughout the day, including guided heritage walks, a children's serpent trail and face painting. There were also some real-life serpents on display, courtesy of exotic pet specialist AmeyZoo. A mix of small and large snakes really drew in the crowds. The Friends were able to talk to lots of people about the restoration plans and the benefits of being part of the group.

  • People reading the information boards
  • People holding snakes
  • People on the serpent trail

Bushey Rose Garden visit

On Thursday 5 June, 2014, the Friends were treated to a sunny visit to Bushey Rose Garden. They were able to talk to the former chairman of the Friends of Bushey Gardens about how the group operates. They were taken on a tour of the gardens by head gardener, Ami.
The Friends were impressed with how beautifully maintained the Gardens were and the modern art-style cycle rack that was specially commissioned for the Gardens.

  • Group of people at Bushey Rose Gardens
  • Group of people at Bushey Rose Gardens
  • Close up of poppy sculpture
  • Close up of flower

Sunnyside Rural Trust visit

On Wednesday 14 May, 2014, the Friends visited Sunnyside Rural Trust. The visit featured a tour of the site, which includes a wildlife area with insect hotels, bug boxes and bird boxes, vegetable growing areas and polytunnels. The Friends were shown how bedding plants for Dacorum Borough Council's seasonal flower displays are grown and learnt about the Trust's work to give adults with learning difficulties valuable employment skills. And, of course, no visit would be complete without a trip to its wonderful farm shop, where local produce is sold.

  • Close up of plants
  • Close up of plants
  • Plants