Published on 31st January 2019

whish sisters fountain in Sandford Park

Work begins in March for a new sanctuary garden surrounding the Whish Sisters’ fountain in Cheltenham’s Sandford Park.

The newly designed garden will display a mix of perennial planting to create a peaceful, beautiful space for LINC patients, families, staff and visitors to the park.

The plants will be chosen specifically for their environmental benefits as well as attracting pollinators such as bees.

Cheltenham Borough Council is working with LINC (Leukaemia and Intensive Chemotherapy Fund), a local charity based at Cheltenham General Hospital, on the creation of the garden.  LINC have a licence to redesign and maintain the garden and are raising funds for the project which will include new paving, seating, planting and potentially some public art.

The creation of the garden will be funded from a combination of lottery funds, Gloucestershire County Council’s Growing Our Communities Fund and LINC fundraising with support from Cheltenham Borough council. LINC and community volunteers will help with the planting which is scheduled for March 2019.

Claire Charlton, LINC’s head of fundraising, says: “We’d love the local community to be involved with this fantastic new garden.

“To hear more about the plans, make a donation or volunteer on a planting day, please contact the LINC team on 0300 422 4422 or email me at [email protected].”

Mark Sheldon, director of projects from Cheltenham Borough Council who volunteered his own time to design the garden, continues: “We’re delighted to be working with LINC on this new Sanctuary Garden and pleased that the design will be in line with the council’s plans to move from annual to perennial planting in its green spaces as well personally being able to give something back to this valued organisation.”

For media enquiries, please contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]


The charity, Leukaemia and Intensive Chemotherapy Fund (LINC), based at the Cheltenham General hospital was granted a licence on 10 April 2018 to redesign and maintain the garden within Sandford Park for five years. 

Sandford Park is a valuable green space running from Keynsham Road to Old Bath Road along the banks of the River Chelt. It is possible to walk or cycle from Charlton Kings to the centre of Cheltenham through a mixture of wild land and wetland in Cox’s Meadow and then, in Sandford Park, through the rose garden, a wide and mown green space, past the Edwardian Unwins Fountain, modern sculpture in the Friendship Circle, and finally through either the Italian Garden or the Annecy Garden into the centre of town.
A photograph and further information about the Whish Sisters can be found here:

Cheltenham Borough Council’s green space strategy is ‘Working together to ensure a comprehensive network of attractive, well used and valued locally distinct green spaces, that are accessible, safe and welcoming, which meet the existing and future needs of the community, improves / enhances biodiversity and are managed sustainably to reduce climate change impact.