Work to restore two Lancashire parks to their original Victorian designs has under way.
Diggers moved into the wet and muddy Avenham and Miller Parks to kick off phase two of the multi-million pound restoration project.
It has been made possible due to 2.35m of funding which was recently secured from the North West Development Agency and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The second part of the 5m project will see the parks restored to the original designs of landscape architect Edward Milner which were drawn up during the 1860s.
The work will see the planting of almost 500 new trees and 32,000 plants. A total of 73 hazardous, diseased trees – dozens on Riverside Walk in Miller Park – will be replaced with disease-resistant elms.
And 19 others, including greenery in the Japanese Garden, will be removed for design.
Coun Ken Hudson, leader of Preston Council, said: "Avenham and Miller Parks are city gems and restoring them to the original vision of Edward Milner will ensure that the people of Preston are able to boast two of the most beautiful parks in the country for generations to come.
"Once completed, this project will enhance Preston's environmental credentials making it an even more attractive place to live and visit.
"With the Guild in 2012 fast approaching, the parks will be a wonderful venue for staging events and showing Preston off in a fantastic light."
The council has put old photographs of the parks on its website to show the original designs, which has been popular amongst Preston residents.
Phase one of the restoration project saw work including the building of a cafe and Pavilion in Avenham Park.
Its completion was officially marked on August 24, 2008 with the switching on of the ornate fountain in Miller Park.
Phase two is due for completion in November 2010.
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