The first stage of works on the $1.4 million Ballarat Botanical Gardens Fernery project will start today with the demolition of the existing fernery building.
Following the removal of the current structure, the restoration project will see the reconstruction of the gothic style entry from the original fernery on site.
Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said it was exciting to see the first stage of work on the fernery project start.
“The fernery has been at the heart of our beautiful Ballarat Botanical Gardens since the late 1880s.”
“The completion of the project will again restore the fernery as a key feature of the gardens and provide an opportunity to enhance the way we showcase the fernery collection.”
“The initial demolition works will be done with due sensitivity, including a significant amount of ‘hand work’ to protect the trees other features around the fernery,” Mayor McIntosh said.
The City of Ballarat is continuing to work with Heritage Victoria on the specifics of the approved reconstruction, with finalisation of this anticipated next month, and construction work to begin shortly after that.
The Ballarat Botanical Gardens Fernery is one of the oldest of its kind in Australia – it has been a fernery – of varying styles – since 1887.
Public support for the fernery refurbishment was demonstrated during the Lake Wendouree Masterplan public consultation process – over 1800 people identified the fernery as a precinct priority project.
The City of Ballarat, in partnership with the Friends of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, is committed to redeveloping the fernery. It is recognised by the Victorian Heritage Register Statement of Significance as an outstanding Ballarat Botanical Gardens feature.
The City of Ballarat is partnering with the Friends with the committing resources to the overall redevelopment.
The Ballarat Fernery is located on Wendouree Parade, in the centre of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, and plays an important role in linking the North Gardens to the Botanical Gardens.