Tyne & Wear

Gibside Estate improvements announced by National Trust

Phil Bolam (left) project manager for the National Trust and Mick Wilkes, from Gibside at the site of the new car park
Image caption A new car park is being created as part of the project

Facilities at a historic estate in Gateshead are to be improved in a £1.54m project.

The National Trust is to improve car parking facilities and start restoration work on a walled garden at the Gibside Estate, near Rowlands Gill.

The site where the new car park will be was previously used by the Forestry Commission to grow commercial timber.

An increase in visitor numbers over the past 10 years has led to the project being undertaken, the trust said.

Annual visitor numbers to the 18th Century landscaped garden have risen from 60,000 to 166,000.

Otter holt

Historic plans show the walled garden, which dates back to the 1730s, was once a thriving kitchen garden with fruit trees, glass houses and even exotic produce including melons and pineapples.

Jan Bibby, regional director for the National Trust in Yorkshire and the North East, said: "This funding reflects the trust's long-term commitment to looking after special places like Gibside forever and for everyone, balancing conservation needs with public access and enjoyment."

As part of the work, an otter holt and newt refuge are also to be built.

Funding for the project will come entirely from the National Trust. The property will remain open throughout the building work.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites