Record visits to Valley Gardens in Harrogate

Harrogate Borough Council Leader Councillor Richard Cooper; Michael Newby - Director of Visit Harrogate and Councillor Phil Ireland - Cabinet Member for the Environment, Transport & External Affairs; together with members of Harrogate Borough Council's Parks team; members of the Friends of Valley Gardens group; and pupils from Western Primary School (s).
Harrogate Borough Council Leader Councillor Richard Cooper; Michael Newby - Director of Visit Harrogate and Councillor Phil Ireland - Cabinet Member for the Environment, Transport & External Affairs; together with members of Harrogate Borough Council's Parks team; members of the Friends of Valley Gardens group; and pupils from Western Primary School (s).

Harrogate’s popular Valley Gardens park was visited over three million times in the last 12 months, it has been revealed.

Since February 2012, Harrogate Borough Council’s Parks Team has been using an electronic counting device to record the number of visits made to the park.

Over the last year a staggering 3,151,852 visits have been made - an annual increase of 158,534.

Harrogate Borough Council Leader Councillor Richard Cooper said: “The Valley Gardens and Pinewoods are the green jewel in our floral crown.

“They are award winners and a magnet for tourists, local walkers and young people. It is always a pleasure to walk in the Gardens and Pinewoods and see so many people there.

“The Valley Gardens is a major factor contributing to Harrogate’s special character.

“This doesn’t happen by accident though.

“The gardens are so attractive because of the work of the council parks team who, week in and week out, maintain and improve them.

“I also pay tribute to the outstanding work of the Friends of Valley Gardens who do a magnificent job in partnership with the Council team.

“Maintaining and improving the Gardens happens because of that community and Council partnership.

“The new visitor figures show that it is a partnership that has been given over three million thumbs-ups in the past year.”

Councillor Phil Ireland, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Transport and External Affairs said: “It is great to see that the number of visitors coming and enjoying the gardens is increasing, and is a testament to all the hard work undertaken by the parks grounds staff.”

Michael Newby, Director of Visit Harrogate commented: “It is great news to see that the number of visits to the Valley Gardens have broken through the three million mark.

“That so many people continue to visit two and half centuries after the area was set aside for the use of those visiting the mineral wells is testament to the care and attention put in by everyone who looks after these wonderful gardens. They are an important reminder of our spa heritage.

“This announcement is a reminder that the district has a wealth of gardens that are also seeing increased visitor figures. RHS Garden Harlow Carr has seen a 30% growth in visitors over the last four years, while Newby Hall and Studley Royal have also seen some significant increases.”