Putting ‘Great’ back in the Dell?

The walkway through the Great Dell – an historical part of Royal Victoria Park Botanical Gardens – could be restored in a proposal by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet.

 Royal Victoria Park
Royal Victoria Park

The Great Dell is a sunken, wooded area alongside Weston Road, which was formed by quarrying.  An aerial walkway to view this part of the Botanical Gardens’ collection and provide access at road level was provided in the 1990s but fell beyond repair at around the turn of the 21st Century and has been closed for three years.

A £25,000 proposal to restore the walkway is now being made as part of the Council’s 2014/15 budget

Councillor David Dixon (Lib-Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said, “Investing in new and restored features in Royal Victoria Park is one of the ways in which Bath & North East Somerset Council is encouraging people to visit the city time after time, experiencing it in a different way.  The Great Dell walkway was extremely popular because of the opportunity for unique views of the Botanical Gardens.  We now propose to restore that opportunity for the good of the heritage and appeal of one of the country’s finest parks.”

The proposal has been met by support from the Chairman of the Friends of the Botanical Gardens, Stan Hitt MBE, who said, “The restoration of the Great Dell would represent a positive step forward for the interest and attraction of the Botanical Gardens.  The Gardens contain a large and varied collection of plants, which is recognised as one of the finest, certainly in the West Country.  For people to see this important part of the Gardens from an aerial walkway adds another perspective for visitors, forming a circular walk around the Great Dell.”

The Cabinet proposal will be discussed on 12 February 2014, 6.30pm, Guildhall.  The final budget decision lies with the Council on 18 February, 6.30pm, Guildhall.

For more information about the budget go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/budget2014