Derby Arboretum opened in 1840 and is often described as "Britain's first public park". Although green spaces and common lands had existed previously, as had private parkland and gardens, the park in Derby was the first to be deliberately planned as a place of public recreation in an urban setting.
The Arboretum was donated to the town in 1840 by Joseph Strutt, a former mayor of Derby and member of a prominent local family of industrialists. A noted philanthropist, Strutt was grateful to the working people of Derby for the part they had played in helping him and his family amass their fortune, and wanted to convey his thanks by providing a much needed recreational facility for a rapidly expanding and urbanising area. Strutt commissioned John Claudius Loudon to design the park, and Loudon adapted Strutt's original plans for a botanical garden and pleasure grounds to his own vision, incorporating landscaped walkways.
Did you know, Derby Arboretum also inspired the design of Central Park in New York in 1859?! Located just south of the city centre, it's a Grade II listed picturesque park with a fine collection of historic trees.
Enjoy a coffee at Arboretum Park Café, which serves affordable hot and cold food, refreshments, cakes, snacks, sweets and ice cream, and watch the children play on the playground catering for all age groups of children.
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