Duthie Park

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Duthie Park
Duthie Park - Winter Gardens.jpg
Temperate House in the Winter Gardens
Type Public Park
Location Ferryhill, Aberdeen, Scotland
Coordinates 57°7′49″N 2°6′14″W / 57.13028°N 2.10389°W / 57.13028; -2.10389
Area 44 acres (18 ha)
Created 1881
Founder Elizabeth Duthie
Designer William R McKelvie
Operated by Aberdeen City Council

All year

Designated 2006
Duthie Park from the Air

Duthie Park, situated in Aberdeen, Scotland, by the banks of the River Dee, comprises 44 acres (180,000 m2) of land given to the council in 1881 by Lady Elizabeth Duthie of Ruthrieston, in memory of her uncle and of her brother. She purchased the land for £30,000 from the estate of Arthurseat.[1]

The park is noted for the spectacular David Welch winter gardens with tropical and arid houses which contain the second largest collections of bromeliads and of giant cacti respectively in Great Britain[2] (beaten only by the Eden Project in Cornwall, England). Originally opened in 1899, the greenhouses had to be demolished and rebuilt after suffering storm damage in 1969. Today they are a tranquil place surrounded by such plants as tree ferns, Spanish moss, anthuria, and banana trees.

Within the gardens are railings salvaged from the south side of the major bridge in the middle of the city's Union Street. These feature unusual metal cats, derived from the city coat of arms, and were saved when the side of the bridge was developed for retail units in the mid-20th century.

In 2013 paddle boats were reintroduced to the park. Kayaks are regularly offered in the boating pond.

Outside the winter garden is the Japanese garden, opened in 1987 to commemorate the dead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The park has undergone a £5 million pound refurbishment with funding provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Aberdeen City Council. The original 1883 plans were consulted in order to restore some of the long-lost features. Work was completed in 2013 and the official reopening was on 30 June 2013.