A HISTORIC Portland garden is set to get a makeover, thanks to a major cash injection.

The Governor’s Garden at Portland Castle will be transformed thanks to a £46,254 grant won by the Portland Gas Trust and Portland Community Partnership.

The money from Groundwork UK and the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Spaces programme will turn the dilapidated land into a picturesque community space and return it to its natural setting.

It will feature a conservation area, wildlife pond and meadow, allotment for local schools and a botanical garden.

The area will include a small play area for children and an 800 square metre allotment and orchard site for schoolchildren.

Portland Gas trustee Rachel Barton said: “This renovated garden will provide a wonderful community asset.

“People from the age of five upwards, volunteers, parents and carers will be able to see, study and relax amongst Portland’s unique flora and fauna.

“Thanks to the grant and the Young Offender Institution, an important part of Portland will be able to be returned to its natural setting.

“It’s great to see the effective working collaboration of the Portland Community Partner-ship, the prison authorities, the Countryside Project and the local school partnership.

“Without them this grant would not have been achieved.”

A project spokesman added: “Islanders and visitors, young and old will benefit from the transformation.

“The Portland Gas Trust is committed to local initiatives that support education, geology and the environment.

“The garden’s unique history and wildlife value will be explained through a series of regular on-site classes and interpretation boards.

“Under the restorative work, a large greenhouse will also be restored to specifically teach schoolchildren and volunteers how best to nurture Portland plant-life.

“Community involvement is a very large part of this project.

“Local schools working with the Chesil Partnership and volunteers from various sources including the probation service and the Young Offender Institution resettlement team will help manage and develop various parts of the garden.”

The Trust was given charitable status in August, 2008.

More information on the project is available online at www.theportlandgastrust.org