Posted by: lensweb | November 27, 2018

The Importance of Protecting Special Places:Elvaston Castle Country Park


LENS Wildlife Group attended a meeting at Elvaston Town Hall where Elvaston Castle Action Group presented an alternative MASTER PLAN for the Elvaston Castle Estate to that proposed and consulted upon, by Elvaston Gardens Trust and Derbyshire County Council, the owners.

Elvaston Castle Action Group provided proof that contrary to the official MASTER PLAN, there was no need to move the car park, or the showground, or to extend the caravan park, or to put a new road through the park which would seriously devalue the natural landscape and biodiversity.

Elvaston Castle Action Group propose that a total of £5m in grant funding should be raised to improve drainage and restore the historical gardens to greatness. D2N2 which is money available to ameliorate the environmental impact of HS2 could be a major source of funding.

The historical gardens are a NATIONAL TREASURE ‘Among the regal gardens of England few are more remarkable than those of the Earl of Harrington at Elvaston in Derbyshire’ Country Life 14 Jan 1899. The gardens were designed by William Barron who had a particular love of evergreen trees. They were created in 1830 and opened to public enjoyment in 1851 by Leicester Stanhope, the fifth Earl of Harrington.

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During the proposed restoration, low cost improvements to footpaths and play facilities will maintain visitor numbers. To improve the visitor experience the café would be repositioned in the stable yard with windows overlooking the lake. This would be architect designed with sensitivity to the historical situation. A further rustic coffee house could be built, near the upgraded play area.

This plan was supported by Elvaston Parish Council, The Friends of Elvaston Castle and the Elvaston Communities Group. A representative of Derbyshire County Council and the Elvaston Gardens Group were present.

Andrew Barker of the Elvaston Gardens Trust gave a short update on changes to the current MASTER PLAN by the authorities but at the meeting he substantially agreed to all of the Elvaston Action Group proposals with the caveat that he thought the option of the road and enabling development should be kept open.

At the question and answer session the Elvaston Action Group were congratulated on the clear vision and plans they had produced. The new MASTERPLAN will be presented to Derbyshire County Council next week.

Marion Bryce 26 November 2018


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