Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich Spa, has commenced an ambitious tree-planting scheme to return its expansive grounds to the way they were over 150 years ago. The programme, which will take over two months to complete, will see more than 200 new trees planted throughout the hotel’s grounds.
The landscaping project will closely follow plans drawn up by the building’s original owner, John Corbett, in the 19th century. It is part of the multi-million pound renovation programme undertaken by the hotel’s new owner, Greyfort Hotels, which bought the property out of administration last year.
“When the new owners took over the hotel, they knew they were buying a venue steeped in history, and vowed to restore the chateau to its former glory,” says Ben Elder, the hotel’s general manager. “While this includes rejuvenating the interior and exterior of the iconic chateau, they were also adamant that the grounds should not be forgotten.”
Originally built in 1875, the construction of the chateau completely transformed the open parkland on which it was built, introducing lakes, waterfalls, tropical gardens and over 3000 varieties of trees – many of which are still evident today.
In keeping with the original plans, the new saplings will be a mixture of ash, oak, beech and hornbeams. In addition, new hedgerows will be introduced to the grounds, and an orchard bearing apples, pears and berries will be planted. It is hoped that the orchard will attract more wildlife to the parkland as well as enable the hotel to become more self-sufficient.
“The planting programme is a big task, and it’s probably one of the largest schemes of its kind undertaken in Worcestershire in recent years,” says Ben. “We are very fortunate to have the original plans of the grounds as a guideline for our planting. While the layout of the site has changed quite a lot since the plans were drawn up, our aim is to follow them as closely as possible.
“Once the planting is complete, the final phase of the scheme will be to remove the majority of the fencing, helping to restore the grounds to the open parkland on which the chateau was originally built.”
Chateau Impney Hotel has already completed the first phase of its extensive renovation programme, with the majority of the bedrooms in the main Chateau building already totally refurbished. The main function rooms and Grand Bar have also been restored to their former glory, while the hotel’s extensive on-site exhibition centre, the Regent Centre, has seen improvements made to its 20 suites, signage and food preparation areas.
In the next month, the hotel will open its new bar and restaurant, and reveal its new-look reception and lobby area. The refurbishment of the remaining bedrooms is expected to be finished by the end of the year.