The Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens is designated as one of the borough's gardens of excellence.
The gardens are laid out in formal style, with a wide range of trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and bulbs, providing colour and interest throughout the year.
The peaceful and tranquil nature of this site has also made it a popular location for the planting of commemorative trees and shrubs. There is a well used network of paths most of which form part of the borough's Access Trails, which are walks for disabled people. The infrastructure of these gardens allows circular and linear walks for people of all ages and abilities.
Address: Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens, Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 2RJ
The Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens are situated approximately 200 metres south of the Uxbridge Road with its junction with Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex. There are four entrances. The main one is situated at the southern end of the site in Wood End and gives access into the main part of the gardens. Further information on the others is in the management plan.
Car: Parking is best on Wood End by the main entrance.
Public transport: The 207, 607,H98, U7 and N207 buses all use the Uxbridge Road. Alight at the traffic lights at the junction of Uxbridge Road and Grange Road which is 200 metres from the Gardens.
The Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens was, at one time, a private residence with a large ornamental garden surrounding the house. A walled vegetable and fruit garden was attached to the gardens on the west side of the site. In the early part of the 1900s the house and grounds became a private nursing home. When the home closed the house and grounds were given to Hayes & Harlington Urban District Council, which became part of the London Borough of Hillingdon in 1965.
The site was used as the headquarters of the Parks Department until 1960 when the building was condemned as unsafe. The building was demolished in 1961 and the site was developed into the Hayes Botanic Gardens. The walled vegetable and fruit garden became the council's tree and shrub nursery although it was lost to the site in 1975 as part of a road improvement scheme.
The gardens have developed over the years and then, in 1993, were renamed the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens in memory of the late Mr Leddy who had held the post as assistant director of parks and had done much to raise the standard of the Gardens.
Areas important for wildlife in the gardens are the bog and ditch, bed ponds, garden pond, shrubs and woodland areas. The ponds are important for amphibians and insect larvae, and there have been reports of a rare damselfly in a pond in the surrounding open space of St Marys' Wood End, of which the gardens are a part. The information on this finding is linked on the right; the first sightings ever of small red-eyed damselflies in Hillingdon were recorded in August at the ornamental pond of the Beck Theatre. There is the possibility of future colonisation of one of the gardens' ponds.
Seasonal ditches probably also support interesting invertebrates. Insects provide food for birds and bats. There is a variety of shelter for birds, and coots nest by an artificial pond alongside gipsywort (Lycopus europaeus) and brooklime (Veronica beccabunga). There are also areas with a different cutting regime in that they are not cut until late summer. This allows flowering plants to set seed and grow which, in turn, provides habitat for native species including small mammals.
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