Thornes Park rose garden conservatory to be restored

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A scheme to breathe new life into the Thornes Park rose garden conservatory – which closed two years ago – will start next week.

The Friends of Clarence, Holmfield and Thornes Parks (CHaT) group has received a £17,000 grant from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) to restore the 50-year-old building.

Ian Deighton, group chairman, said: “A lot of people have been nearly in tears when they’ve come to the park in the past two summers and seen that the conservatory is closed.

“For many people it’s been the main attraction in the rose garden.”

The conservatory was closed because of structural problems.

Mr Deighton said: “It’s all about the visitors’ experience in the park at the end of the day for us.

“We want people to come and enjoy the conservatory again like they used to.

“We are hoping to get it back open to the public as soon as possible.”

Mr Deighton said the funding bid would not have been successful if it hadn’t been for letters of support submitted by Lawefield Primary School, Wakefield Methodist J & I School and The Mount J & I School.

He added: “I don’t think we would have been successful in our bid without the community support we had.

“It’s great how much the everyone has got behind us on this and it always really helps with getting grants for projects.”

The work will be carried out by volunteers from the Friends’ group, in partnership with Wakefield Council, and is expected to be completed in two or three weeks.

The conservatory features an array of plants, separated into three climactic zones - tropical, temperate and desert.