Nothe Gardens is a public garden, located in Weymouth, Dorset, England. Positioned at a location overlooking both Weymouth and Portland harbours, the informal gardens are often acclaimed to be the most beautiful the borough has to offer.
The Nothe is an area, covering 40,000 square metres of land, that has not been changed by modern development. In the past the area played an important military role as defense of Weymouth port, whilst today it is a more tranquil place. The main flat top of the Nothe Gardens was once a military encampment and is public open space today. In 1888, the Gardens were at the beginning of their establishment.
During World War II, the main anti-aircraft guns on the peninsula were emplaced in the gardens. The anti-aircraft emplacement in Nothe Gardens used 4x3.7 inch Vickers and sat where the car park now lies.
For public use, picnic areas are available for use, large grassed areas for ball games whilst the nearby rock pools of Newton's Cove, found at the bottom of the gardens, are a popular attraction. A cafe is also on site, whilst an ice cream hut is found in Newton's Cove.
The area attracts many types of animals and species, and often displays various bird species and grey squirrels. Other animals found in the area includes bats, roe deer, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, shrews, mice and slow worms, amongst other creatures such as insects, whilst plant life is also varied. A vast array of choice trees and established shrub beds are found in the area.
Friends of the Nothe Gardens
The Friends of the Nothe Gardens are a band of residents and locals who care about the gardens and promote the enjoyment of the area. The supporters main goal is to make the gardens "a jewel amongst Weymouth's attractions".
In recent times, the trust has been funded by a grant from the Lottery.
Use in the 2012 Olympics
For the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Events in the 2012 Olympics, the gardens were closed to the public, where organising committee LOCOG decided to charge spectators £20 to £50 for a day's admission to the gardens to view the sailing events. As a result, the local residents vented anger at the borough councillors for supporting the plan.
Furthermore, a decision followed and decided that residents of Weymouth would not be allowed to watch regatta without a ticket even if their property overlooked the area. In a bid to stop people catching a glimpse, a fence was planned to be built around Nothe Gardens to enable it to be managed as a ticketed site. Nothe Fort recruited 150 people to help out as marshals during the games, as an expected 4,600 ticketed spectators a day flocked to the official view point during the fortnight.
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