David Bellamy opens restored conservatory

Preston Hall Museums Victorian Winter Garden conservatory was re-opened in recent days by botanist David Bellamy.

The grade two listed building in Teesside contains a wide variety of flora, including Tasmanian Tree Ferns, Canary Island Date Palms and Bird of Paradise Flowers, reports the Evening Gazette.

Mr Bellamy tells the publication: "In this day and age you forget how important these conservatories were in enabling people to come and see marvels which they would never have otherwise been able to see."

The teak structure was added to Preston Hall in the 1880s and remained largely unchanged for more than a century but had been closed to the public since 2000 due to it falling into a poor state of repair, with negotiations regarding funding for the project beginning in 2001.

Stockton councils cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture Mary Womphrey adds that it is "wonderful" to see the structure restored to its former glory.