Stoke & Staffordshire

RNLI volunteers site at arboretum revamped

A revamped garden dedicated to Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers has been officially reopened at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Garden designer and TV presenter Chris Beardshaw has been involved in the scheme at Alrewas, Staffordshire, and officially reopened it on Thursday.

A sculpture of a lifeboatman remains at the revamped site.

Beardshaw said he sails and dives, had seen what the RNLI does and was a "great supporter" of the charity.

'Circular path'

He added: "The design aims to remind the visitor that there are individuals prepared to put themselves at risk and sacrifice their time, effort and ultimately their lives, to save those in trouble at sea.

"The centre of the garden represents the harbour - seclusion, and safety.

"And then, beyond that is a circular path that takes you on the journey that a rescuer would take - out into a more turbulent seas and back into the harbour with those rescued."

Pastel blues and pinks dominate areas representing the safety of land.

RNLI volunteers raised funds to create the plot at the arboretum 10 years ago, establishing a garden which had the sculpture of the lifeboatman, created by Andrew Fitchett, as its centrepiece.

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