GUARDIANS of a popular beauty spot are hoping to bring a currently-closed area of the site back into public use.

The Friends of St Ives have the chance to buy the lease on a small, walled garden area and an adjacent presently-overgrown plot.

But the group needs to raise £30,000 and there is a limited timespan to acquire the sites, currently in the ownership of a private company.

Friends’ chairman, Pam Laking, says the acquisition would be a “fantastic opportunity” for the Harden estate – which attracts thousands of visitors, of all ages, every year.

And she hopes a local company or individual benefactor may be willing to help fund the move.

“The Friends have recently been granted charitable status but due to the time constraints for buying the lease we wouldn’t be able to go through the prolonged procedure of identifying potential sources of funding and applying for grants,” said Mrs Laking.

“Our hope is that there is a generous benefactor out there or a firm that loves St Ives as much as we do and would like to see these areas back in public hands and providing a wonderful space for people to enjoy for years to come.

Mrs Laking can be contacted on 07958 780391.