Greenhouse at park will be educational resource

An artist's impression of how the greenhouse will look in the Walled Garden
An artist's impression of how the greenhouse will look in the Walled Garden

Work has started on a £100,000 new visitor attraction at Chorley’s Astley Park.

A Victorian-style greenhouse is being built in the park’s Walled Garden, behind the historic Astley Hall.

“It means they’ll be able to grow a much wider range of produce, over a much longer season, and grow the types of produce that were grown during the hall’s heyday.”

Gary Hall

The project aims to create a more authentic visitor experience, provide an educational resource and allow for more produce to be grown.

The greenhouse will be unveiled at the Chorley Flower Show on July 30 and 31.

Gary Hall, chief executive of Chorley Council, said: “This glasshouse was one of the projects that came out of the public consultation we did on Astley 2020, our five-year development plan to attract more visitors to the Astley complex.

“The Walled Garden is looked after and maintained by the Astley Walled Gardeners, a dedicated group of volunteers, and this glasshouse was one of their aspirations.

“It means they’ll be able to grow a much wider range of produce, over a much longer season, and grow the types of produce that were grown during the hall’s heyday.

“Just as importantly it can be used by schools as an educational resource and it will add to the already fantastic visitor experience that Astley offers.”

A £14,000 grant from the Lancashire Environmental Fund will provide internal landscaping, heating, staging and exotic specimen plants.

The new attraction will be open to the public daily.

Barry Sharples, from Astley Walled Gardeners, said: “This is a very exciting project that we’re looking forward to getting involved in. We don’t currently have any covered space in the Walled Garden so this will complement what we do by providing much needed indoor space which will not only extend the growing season, but also mean we can grow a wider range and diversity of plants.”