Community gathers to clean Japanese garden in Hammersmith Park

Enthusiastic and hardworking volunteers from the local community have given a unique and treasured garden in Hammersmith Park a well-deserved spruce-up.

Last weekend, members of the Friends of Hammersmith Park joined forces with The Nippon Club, a social club for Japanese ex-pats in London, and council contractor Idverde to do annual restoration work in The Japanese Garden.

The team of 50 volunteers trimmed willow and bamboo and even helped clear algae from the pond, while supported by the Mayor and Mayoress of Hammersmith & Fulham and the minister from the Japanese Embassy.

“It’s brilliant to see so many members of the local community digging in to help keep this fantastic garden in great condition,” said Cllr Mike Cartwright, Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham.

“The great turn out shows how valued this amenity is by local residents, particularly the local Japanese community.

Image caption: Young Japanese volunteer

The Japanese Garden was created in 1910 for the Japan-British Exhibition and is the only remaining site of the historical exhibition.  

Local resident Setsuo Kato set up a restoration project for the gardens. The Japanese Embassy in the UK, The Nippon Club, the Japan Society, Japanese Garden Society and H&F Council all backed the scheme.

Mr Kato, a committee member of both The Hammersmith Society and The Nippon Club, has organised an annual clean-up of the garden ever since.

“I would like to say thank you for the support to maintain this historical Japanese garden to H&F Council and the Japanese Community in London,” said Mr Kato.  

“This Japanese garden is a treasure of the British and Japanese people. We are now planning a phase two development of the garden.” 

The phase two works include plans to install Japanese style gates at each entrance to the garden and a row of stone lanterns.

Mr Kato, who was born in Tokyo but has lived in London since 1970, hopes even more local residents will help with the cleaning day next year.

To help out, contact John Gordon Smith, from the Friends of Hammersmith Park:

Image caption: The Mayor and Mayoress and Minister Shinichi Iida from the Japanese embassy (speaking)

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