Yorkshire Air Ambulance Announces New Memorial Garden

Yorkshire Air Ambulance have announced plans for a new, public memorial garden.  To be launched at this year’s Harrogate Flower Show, the garden will eventually take up its permanent home in Roundhay Park, Leeds, where it will be on display and easily accessible for everyone.

Designed by York based Kate Smithson, a graduate of the Yorkshire School of Garden Design, the ‘Reflection and Remembrance Garden’ will be a place of remembrance and tranquillity where those who have been affected by the work of YAA can come to remember and reflect on their experiences, or in memory of loved ones.  A lasting memorial, the garden will become a legacy for the community and beyond for years to come through lasting dedications to those we love, when it relocates to its permanent home in Roundhay Park later this spring.

Tessa Klemz, Regional Fundraising Manager for YAA explains: “YAA have long been considering some type of long-lasting memorial area for our supporters to appreciate and utilise.  When the opportunity from the Harrogate Flower Show came along for us to have a garden at this year’s show, we knew it would be the ideal opportunity.  Kate’s proposed design captivated us from the outset.  She has captured exactly what we were looking for – to create a place of memories, tranquillity and peacefulness.  We are also absolutely delighted that Leeds City Council are able to give the garden a permanent home at Roundhay Park, where members of the public can access the garden on a daily basis – as well as the garden being able to grow and mature over the years to come.  The garden will also accommodate lasting dedications for families of loved ones and support the life-saving work of YAA.

Taking centre stage in the garden is a metal, yellow pergola which reflects the blades and colour of the YAA helicopters.  Soft, billowing planting and a central reflective pool will celebrate the varied landscapes of Yorkshire that the helicopters fly over on a daily basis.  The space aims to exude calmness and tranquillity, contrasting the major trauma YAA deals with every day.

Tessa also added: “The build and installation of the garden at the show would not have been possible without the generosity of some wonderful sponsors who have kindly provided support to cover any costs involved with this project.  Our sincere thanks go to organisations including Redmayne Bentley, The North of England Horticultural Society, Woods of Harrogate, The Arnold Burton Charitable Trust, RB Gray Charitable Trust, Ilkley Charitable Trust, and The Peacock (Leeds) Trust for supporting this fantastic garden.”

Kate Smithson who designed the garden added: “It has been a real joy to think about creating a garden that celebrates the vital work that the YAA do across the Yorkshire region.  It was important for us to create an uplifting space, full of positivity and yet also give space for reflection and contemplation.  I wanted to incorporate the bold yellow YAA colour and bring people closer to the joys that can be found in nature, using fresh and lush greens in a celebration of Spring. 

 We then look forward to developing this further for the permanent legacy garden to create a space that will be beautiful year-round and become a place for people to come and reflect on the lifesaving work the YAA do.  I’d also like to pass my sincere thanks to several local businesses who supported my design and vision to bring the garden to fruition – these include Tong Garden Centre, Kendrew Architectural Metalwork, Traditional Stone, Urbis Design, D-Tail Plants, Wykeham Mature Plants, and the Yorkshire School of Garden Design.”

YAA’s garden will be on display at Harrogate Flower Show, which takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th April, before being moved to its permanent home in Roundhay Park.  Further details on when the garden will be open to the public at Roundhay Park will be announced by YAA in due course.