A PROJECT that will transform a neglected site next to an old bus stopin Howle Hill into a new memorial garden, has been given lottery funding.

The Howle Hill Memorial Garden Project aims to  honour the  brave residents who lost their lives fighting for their country in the two World Wars and be a place for others to remember friends and neighbours who have passed away. 

The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded £13,733 to the project to turn a former scalpings area into a memorial garden.

The garden is expected to be completed by November 2024 - in time for Remembrance Sunday.

Yolande Watson, one of the project’s committee members said: “As part of the plan, the present war memorial stone will be placed in a more fitting position inside a beautifully tended garden maintained by local residents.

“The village no longer has a public space (pub, post office or church) so the garden will be used to hold social gatherings by residents from Howle Hill and those from local hamlets.

“Families who have moved away from the village, but have a deep connection to the local area, will be able to park their vehicles safely and explore the local area. It will also provide a much needed a picnic area for visitors and tourists to enjoy.”

The garden is 'greening up' a piece of highway and sits under the aegis of Walford Parish Council which has agreed and signed licences with Balfour Beatty Living Places to cultivate and maintain the site - providing bio-diversity net gain and mitigating surface run off into the River Wye.

One of the lecterns will have information about Howle Hill's agricultural lime-making history and the other lectern will share the background of the boys and men named on the war memorial cross.

Most were lads who worked on local farms or in businesses in Ross-on-Wye including the Ross Alton Brewery Company.

The cross remembers Sergeant L. Morris who died in the First World War and Sergeant W. Morgan of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, son of G. Morgan of Howle Hill Walford killed in action somewhere in France on April 9, 1917.

Also honoured is R.G.W Perkins who died in the Second World War.

artist impression
ARTIST IMPRESSION: Artist Louise Pilditch, from Made in Ross, interprets how the memorial garden will look once completed. (Submitted)

Ms Watson added: “It is estimated that an additional 12 houses will be built close to the memorial garden site. Consequently, more children and families are expected to move into the area.

“The memorial garden will provide a safe space for children to wait off the road for their school bus, and a pleasant environment for parents  to wait for their children and meet up with other parents.

“We are hoping this project will inspire other parish councils to do the same.”