Historic garden to get upgrade

An historic garden in Derbyshire is to be renovated after a two-year fundraising process produced a £650,000 budget.

The Belper River Gardens on the Derwent are 100 years old and have substantial plant collections in addition to boating facilities allowing access to the river. In October an environmental check will be carried out to ensure that no wildlife will be disturbed by any building work, and then the construction is due to begin shortly afterwards.

Path repair and tree removal will be part of the process that will sometimes close all the gardens to visitors, but on the most part will only cordon off affected areas.

The project has been divided into two distinct phases, with the tree and shrub removal forming the first part. The second phase will concentrate on the reestablishment of the garden tea rooms, due to begin in the middle of next year.

The garden has had problems with vandals in recent months, with copper from the historic bandstand proving a particular target.

The rising price of scrap metal is thought to be behind the theft of a number of catalytic converters from a business near Ipswich recently.