Grounds for celebration at Buda House

Sometimes it’s what lies beneath the surface that counts.
This is the case with much of the significant ground works project now completed at Castlemaine’s Buda House.
Over recent months a $50,000 state grant has enabled the local tourism attraction to complete the project that includes harvesting rainfall that had previously been going to waste, causing erosion and other issues within the grounds, and directing it into a large pre-existing tank where it can instead be put to good use in dry times.
Delivered through the state’s Living Heritage program last year, the dollars enabled extensive ground works including resurfacing of Buda’s historic paths and installation of a comprehensive new underground drainage system for the project.
The project also included connection of the new drainage system to the 60,000-litre rainwater tank that had been installed a few years back, serving to drought-proof the garden.
“It will make a huge difference to the garden,” Buda curator Lauretta Zilles said.
The grant also allowed the Buda committee of management to install a new fire sprinkler system to help protect the grand old heritage house and also to commission an arborist and complete a full risk assessment and report into the health of the many mature trees within Buda’s beautiful historic garden.
After all that work, last Friday it was time for some celebration with the state member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards and the federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters both attending along with other dignitaries including Mount Alexander Shire mayor Cr Bronwen Machin.
Buda committee secretary Pat Grumont said the arboreal assessment had resulted in tree works including removal of a tree on the property’s west boundary and work looking after root systems, mulching and composting for all other trees, with ongoing monitoring and documenting of their health into the future.
“We need to protect buildings like Buda for our children and our children’s children,” observed Ms Edwards MP as the Buda friends, committee members and supporters gathered to celebrate the project’s completion.
There was also an additional cause for celebration as Ms Edwards then announced a further $120,000 in funding through the program for further repairs to ensure ongoing public access to the house and garden.
“The repairs to the house will include urgent repairs to external render and other external brickwork and also some work to internal plaster,” Ms Zilles said.
“Stage one will start fairly soon. Probably in early 2020.”

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