Woking’s Muslim Burial Ground Peace Garden has been named winner at this year’s Local Government News Street Design Awards.
Woking Borough Council, along with landscape architect terra firma Consultancy and Horsell Common Preservation Society, won the Urban Green Space category in the prestigious awards, beating off competition from other local authorities across the country.
The awards are organised by Local Government News Magazine and recognise best practice and innovation in street design schemes.
Laura Sharman, Editor of Local Government News, said: “I am delighted to name Woking Borough Council as the winner of the Urban Green Space category in our Street Design Awards. The judges were extremely impressed by the scheme, which achieved nearly perfect scores for its high quality design and meeting the objectives set out in the brief.”
Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, who accepted the award on behalf of the Council, said: “A popular site for the local community, as well as national and international visitors, the Muslim Burial Ground Peace Garden is a marvellous heritage site of which we should all be proud.
“The site recognises the contribution of soldiers from all parts of the world who gave the ultimate sacrifice for Britain and has contemporary relevance for our diverse communities by promoting shared history and understanding.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to terra firma for designing such a fitting legacy and I hope that this award will further raise awareness of the importance of the Peace Garden and all it represents.”
Lionel Fanshawe, terra firma director, said: "We are obviously thrilled to have won this award. To have had the opportunity to work on such a fascinating culturally significant heritage site, as well as working with terrific teams at Woking Borough Council and Horsell Common Preservation Society, has been wonderful. It enabled us to design and deliver the stunning Peace Garden we see today.”
Elizabeth Cuttle, as Trustee led the restoration and garden creation project for Horsell Common Preservation Society, added: "As owners of the Peace Garden, Horsell Common Preservation Society is delighted that terra firma and Woking Borough Council are the winners of this award.
“The Peace Garden is now a beautiful tranquil space and a fitting memorial to those Muslim soldiers who gave their lives for Britain in two world wars."
Located on the south east corner of Horsell Common, the Muslim Burial Ground was founded in 1917 as a final resting place for Allied Muslim soldiers who died of their wounds in this country during WW1, and later supplemented with further burials of those lost during WW2.
In 2013, after years of disrepair, Horsell Common Preservation Society and Woking Borough Council came together to create a special place of remembrance celebrating the vast, and vitally important, contribution made to the Allied war effort by armies of the Indian sub-continent.
In an act of remembrance, His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, officially opened the Peace Garden on 12 November 2015.
For more information about the Muslim Burial Ground, please visit www.horsellcommon.org.uk