Heath’s small garden designed by TV star Charlie Dimmock is left to ‘rot’ amid ‘neglect’ allegation

This Small Heath garden designed by TV star Charlie Dimmock has been left to rot after years of ‘neglect’, say local residents. Now the Paradise Moghul garden has been closed for several years, preventing residents from enjoying it.

“The Moghul Garden” was a collaborative design by television gardener Charlie Dimmock and project manager Susanna Brown. Local residents and volunteers came together in 2000 to create the large Mughal Gardens painted bright red and fitted with mosaic flooring as part of the TV show Charlie’s Garden Army.

The former wasteland has been transformed into a vibrant community garden filled with colorful flowers, water foundations and planted herbs. But after years of “neglect” claimed by locals, the garden was left to rot.

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As part of the BBC programme, the garden was transformed in four months with the help of volunteers creating a ‘beautiful retreat for the whole community’. However, after being closed for the past five years, its unique appearance has been marred by overgrown weeds, peeling paint, and moss-covered floors and walls.

In 2003 the Friends of Small Heath Park formed to renovate the park with Birmingham City Council. Later, further works were carried out with new gates, sidewalks, seats and ornamental balustrades with the help of the local community.



The focal point of the star-shaped fountain which is now a graffiti-strewn flower bed.

But the years have now taken their toll. Its focal point of the star-shaped fountain is unrecognizable and without a drop of water flowing. Covered in graffiti, the years of neglect are evident. But some local residents have spoken openly about the park’s “negligence”.

A city council spokesperson said a renovation of the site was underway and the council was working with The Friends of Moghul Gardens Group with the aim of reopening the gardens.

Locals have come forward to demand that the Mughal Gardens and the park keeper’s lodge at the entrance to the park be restored to their former glory. Speaking to a member of Friends of Small Heath Park, who wishes to remain anonymous, they said: “Many years ago Charlie Dimmock came to convert this land into a Mughal garden which was nice. Over the years, I and others have tried to keep it and put it back into service.



A bustling Mughal garden with a mosaic fountain in Small Heath Park in 2000

“But the council kept the gates locked and I remember painting the gates many years ago. We had projects called ‘Coriander Concrete’ where part of the park area Muslim women were growing traditional herbs and spices used in their cooking, but that is gone now.

“Birmingham City Council has neglected it over the years and decided to lock the metal gates. No resident can enter and enjoy the benefits of the garden.”

As well as the garden, residents have expressed concern over the ‘neglect’ of Small Heath Park and the park keeper’s lodge, which has been abandoned for years. Saddique Hussain is the spokesperson for the Small Heath Lodge Forum, a group of concerned Small Heath residents – he said bringing the garden back to life was a “crucial step” in transforming the area.



The gardens are currently closed to the public and the council said if they were ‘open all the time they could become a hotbed for anti-social behaviour’.

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He said: “Residents and community groups would be proud and maintain such local amenities with Council’s support; if only Council were willing to listen to us and work with us and not ignore us.

“This is a critical step in transforming a visually deprived area, helping people volunteer in youth-focused activities, and reversing the trend of knife crime, youth disengagement and culture. gangs.”

A Birmngham City Council spokesperson told BirminghamLive: “Birmingham City Council is aware that unfortunately the Moghul Gardens have been mostly closed for the past few years.



The bricks from the garden path.

“They were only open every day when there was a park ranger on site who could open/close the park at regular times. Volunteers have now taken over that role, but that means opening can be intermittent.

“Unfortunately, if the gardens remain open all the time, they could become a hotbed for anti-social behaviour. The council is working with the Friends of Moghul Gardens group who are keen to see the gardens reopen.

“We are currently carrying out a refurbishment of the gardens and once this is complete and volunteers are available on site, they will be open more regularly.”

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