Murdered teenager to be remembered as Ellen’s Garden nears completion

College student Ellen Higginbottom will be remembered by Winstanley College as a stone has been placed in a garden created for the nature-lover.

Winstanley has been working closely with Ellen’s family and the plans have quietly come together over the past few months to create a garden which Ellen would have treasured.

Ellen’s Garden is situated close to the front of college so members of the College or visitors can use the space to think, reflect or just enjoy the peace and quiet. The garden should be in full bloom when it is opened in June. Winstanley College hope that family, friends and fellow students of Ellen will have the opportunity to plant their own flowers in Ellen’s Garden to help them remember her.

Louise Tipping, Principal of the College, says: ‘Ellen loved the outdoors and together with her family we decided a garden which will bloom and grow with the seasons would be the best tribute we could give her“.

The stone at Winstanley College. Picture from Winstanley College Facebook Page

A stone has been laid in the garden with an inscription chosen by Ellen’s family, it reads “There grows an unseen garden, deep-rooted in her beauty, kindness and love”.

Miss Higginbottom was murdered by Mark Buckley, 52, who attacked the 18-year-old before taking her laptop and mobile phone and leaving her for dead near a wheat field close to Orrell Water Park in Wigan. He was jailed for a minimum of 31 years for the sexually motivated murder of a teenage student.

Ellen was reported missing after failing to return home from Winstanley college in Orrell on 16 June 2017.

Her body was found the next day and a postmortem examination showed she had died from multiple wounds to the neck.

The A-level student, who aspired to be a vet, was targeted by Buckley as she walked alone in the park after revising at the college. She was intending to return and meet up with friends who were sitting exams.


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