Visitors to Trentham Gardens up by almost 30 per cent this summer

Visitors to Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire rose by almost 30 per cent between April and September this year compared to the same period in 2012.

The gardens are part of the Trentham Estate, which attracted more than three million visitors this year, with total visitor numbers up by more than 20 per cent.

The increased visitor numbers echo the experience of gardens across the country, which have reported a bounce back on a difficult year in 2012 and put Trentham in a good position to celebrate a decade since it reopened to the public after one of the biggest garden restoration projects in Europe, in May 2014.

Now one of the most visited gardens in the whole of the UK, it was a very different story a decade ago when the historic gardens lay almost derelict and forgotten, including the country’s first significant, and grandest, Italian Gardens.

Rescued by regeneration specialist St Modwen Properties the estate was owned for over 400 years by the Dukes of Sutherland. It has undergone a massive regeneration programme since 2003. Garden designers and Chelsea gold-medal winners, Tom Stuart Smith and Piet Oudolf, led the dramatic resurrection of the parkland, and itsleading to The European Garden Heritage Network awarded Trentham the "European Award for Garden Restoration" in 2010.

This year it won Gold in the Large Visitor Attraction title in the Enjoy Staffordshire tourism awards and will go through to the national VisitEngland awards in 2014.

St Modwen regional director Mike Herbert said: "This year’s summer season is testament yet again to the fact that the team here works really hard to make sure that visitors to Trentham get a great value for money day out with attractions and events that appeal to a broad range of customers.

"Not only are we seeing more visits generally, but events such as the Trentham Hot Summer Saturday Date night concerts have again proved extremely popular. Sales of annual tickets are up again, too. It’s a great way for us to prepare for our 10th anniversary birthday celebrations in 2014."

Other paid-for attractions on the 293ha estate include Trentham Monkey Forest and Aerial Extreme.

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