Plea to ‘save’ plants in Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens Conservatory

Ruth Eyre has started a petition to save the plants in the Pavilion gardens.
Ruth Eyre has started a petition to save the plants in the Pavilion gardens.

A worried Buxton resident is demanding answers over the condition of the plants in the town’s Pavilion Gardens Conservatory.

Concerned by what she fears is a lack of care and attention being paid to the plants, Ruth Eyre has started a petition calling on Parkwood Leisure, which now manages the gardens complex on behalf of High Peak Borough Council, to take urgent action.

The petition has so far received over 600 signatures.

Ruth, 32, of Fairfield Road, said: “Parkwood Leisure wanted to build a new bar but because people got angry when they knew it would mean losing the plants in the conservatory I think they are not taking care of them and just waiting for them to die so they can get rid of them. It’s disgusting.

“Parkwood has been brought in by High Peak Borough Council to look after the gardens but they appear to be doing nothing to look after the plants and hoping people won’t notice, but we have and we want answers.

She continued: “How can it be okay to not tend to the plants which have been here much longer than this new company has?”

Parkwood Leisure took over the running of the Pavilion Gardens - including the Grade II-listed botanical conservatory - in February.

Terry Crawford, business and services manager based at the Pavilion Gardens, said: “With the state of plants we admit we got it wrong.

“We hired a contractor whose work fell below a standard we required and the plants suffered. To rectify this we have already hired a highly-regarded local horticulturist who is working hard in the conservatory.

“The results will not be immediate but will be long lasting.”

A spokesperson for Parkwood said: “We have completed our initial work in the conservatory. Our plans were refined and scaled back from the original artist impression and the creation of a pop-up bar for events has received very positive feedback.

“The next stage of work is due to begin in mid-September. This involves upgrading the tearoom and Octagon bar and creating a new market café.

“These projects will be carried out alongside extensive repair work to the pavilion building which is being led by the borough council.”

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, the borough council’s deputy leader and executive member with responsibility for the Pavilion Gardens, said: “The council fully supports the improvements Parkwood is making at the gardens and their willingness to listen and respond to the views of residents and visitors.

“We will continue to work together in partnership to deliver these improvements while retaining the special elements that make the gardens such an asset to High Peak and a much-loved attraction.”

Click here to sign the petition.