New hall project is really blooming

Visitors to the National Trust’s Hardwick Hall will spot some changes to its historic garden this spring as the first phase of a five-year project begins to bloom.

More than 3,000 purple crocuses are now forming a swathe of colour across the 16th century gardens near Chesterfield.

The bulbs were planted in the gardens in October by local volunteers as part of the Bolsover Rotary Club’s End Polio Now campaign. The club organised the crocus planting to boost funds and raise awareness of the disease that kills and maims thousands of children in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Africa every year. Thanks to the success of the autumn planting, the project will be extended over the next four years with the planting of more bulbs later this year.

Geoff Davis from the Rotary Club said: “Rotary International is now within sight of eradicating this dreadful disease worldwide. The purple crocuses signify the spot of purple dye used to mark the fingers of the millions of children who have been inoculated.”

And next month for Mother’s Day, there will also be the chance for families to bring along their mum to enjoy the spring bulbs and a meal in the restaurant, when each mum will be given a free potted plant.

Entry to the gardens is £4.80 for adults and £2.40 for children and is free to National Trust members. Tickets for entry to both the hall and gardens are available. For more details, contact Hardwick Hall on 01246 850430.