Friends of Friarwood Valley Gardens was established in 2012 to address concerns about the perceived neglect of Pontefract's Valley Gardens. We have achieved a great deal over the years in improving the infrastructure and its importance to the community.

SensoryGarden   RoseGardenUrbanArt

                Sensory Garden                                              Rose Garden                                           Urban Art Project

  • 2013 - entrance signs and a notice board at the Friarwood Lane entrance
  • 2013 - Tree Trail established with information board installed at the Friarwood Lane entrance
  • 2013 - Sensory Garden restored supported by a grant of £1000 from the Yorkshire Gardens Trust. The original 1960 "Scented Garden for the Blind" had been grassed over years before.
  • 2013 onwards - new benches installed. A total of 30 new benches have replaced the old dilapidated utility seats.
  • 2013 onwards - events reintroduced in the Valley Gardens: Liquorice Festival (July), Yorkshire Day and Friarwood Festival (August) and Lantern Festival (October).
  • 2014 -15 - Rose Garden restored. All 31 rose beds were cleared and replanted from autumn 2014 to spring 2015. 
  • 2015 - Children's Playground installed and opened in May 2015. Funded by grants from WREN and Wakefield Council.
  • 2015 onwards - Picnic Tables installed. A total of 5 picnic tables are in place. 
  • 2015 -16 - renovation of the former aviary and conversion to the Pinhole Camera which has been in use since April 2016.
  • 2015 - Magna Carta schools project - To commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta we installed collages on the steel shutters of the building depicting the events of 1215, created by local schools, .
  • 2015 - Information boards installed around the Valley Gardens.
  • 2016 - Urban Art Schools Project. Local schools were involved in creating murals on the lockup container.

stage aviary FF19

                       New Stage                                       Giant Pinhole Camera                     Friarwood Festival August 2019

  • 2017 - Outdoor Stage Reinstalled with a grant from Tesco "Bags of Help" fund. The original stage installed in the 1950s had been removed years ago by the Council. A large removable canopy has been purchased for use at events.
  • 2018 - Friarwood Festival established: a music event in August. 4,000 attendees in 2019.
  • 2019 - Children's Playground extended.

Our work has been supported by donations and grants. Click here to see the spreadsheet showing grants received since 2013

  • Circle Hope
  • 2020 - Covid Circle of Hope installed

granite bench1bench2

  • 2021 - Commemorative granite benches installed      

Jubilee BenchTree carvingThermoplastic

  • 2022 - Jubilee Bench, Tree Carvings, and thermoplastic Play Trail installed.

Crown Bed1

  • May 2023 - Jubilee/Coronation commemorative garden