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Refurbished gardens provide welcome green space for families in Highfields

Sundial in Prebend Gardens

A POCKET park close to Leicester railway station has been formally reopened after its £100,000 refurbishment.

Prebend Gardens in Stoneygate ward have been transformed into a family-friendly green space, with extensive new planting, a pond, a wildflower area and 11 flowering trees, chosen to attract pollinating insects and support wildlife.

A small balance trail provides fun for young children, while people of all ages can enjoy the park’s new outdoor gym equipment.

New, wider paths have improved access to the gardens, while a large seating area provides a space for community events. There’s also a new spot for the gardens’ sundial, pictured, which has been cleaned up and retained as part of the scheme.

Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services and Stoneygate ward councillor, said: “A few years ago, this space was a hot-spot for drinking and drug-taking – and not somewhere that families would have wanted to use.

“We’ve tackled these issues by cutting back overgrown shrubs and reducing the height of the wall to improve natural sight lines with better surveillance across the gardens, installing CCTV, and increasing patrols by our park wardens – and the space certainly feels a lot more inviting now.

“This significant investment in Prebend Gardens has introduced features that will attract birds and wildlife, while creating a welcoming space for families to use and enjoy.

“We’re very grateful for the help and input of local residents in designing this scheme and hope that Prebend Gardens will provide an oasis of green for local families for many years to come.”

Chair of South Highfields Neighbours Roo Peake said: “We welcome the reopening of Prebend Gardens and encourage our local community, whether they live here, work here or socialise here, to enjoy and make use of this tranquil space. 

“We have events planned throughout the summer, free of charge and accessible to all. More information is available at southhighfieldsneighbours.com.”

Neighbourhood Policing Area Commander for East Leicester, Inspector Yakub Ismail said: “Our local officers have worked with partners and in consultation with the community to help with this redesign of Prebend Gardens. It is great to see this refurbishment now complete and a new and improved area for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“We will continue to carry out proactive policing patrols in the area and will continue to work to help keep it a safer place. Our dedicated Police Community Support Officer for the area Sam Trantom will also be regularly visiting the gardens and working with residents and visitors to help ensure the gardens remain a safe place for all to enjoy.”

Prebend Gardens are located on Prebend Street, off London Road. The gardens reopened on Saturday (12 March), after having been closed to the public since April 2021.