Christmas is already getting its skates on at Planters in Bretby, with the return of its popular ice rink for another year.

The rink, now in its third year, has become a big hit with the public and has now returned to the garden centre again.

The ice facility, which officially opened on Saturday, November 11, is made of real ice through a lengthy process which takes organisers five days to complete.

Ice rink manager Adam Cresswell, 28, said: "The first stage is to put the platform down for everything to sit on. Then we have to lay the pipes down to pump the liquid on and freeze it.

Burton Mail reporter Beth Pridding went along to Bretby Garden Centre following the opening of their real Ice Rink.
The rink takes five days to build

"We aim to have between 7cm and 9cm of ice, so we have to fill it up and refreeze some if we have had a busy few days. We really want to keep the ice in as good a condition as possible.

"We've had regular skaters come to visit and they have said our ice is really good to skate on."

The rink can cater for up to 60 people at one time and stewards are on hand to offer their expertise on skating and make sure everyone is safe.

The attraction is expected to be as popular as ever, with families already showing an interest in trying their hand at skating.

Burton Mail reporter Beth Pridding went along to Bretby Garden Centre following the opening of their real Ice Rink.
Burton Mail reporter Beth Pridding went along to prove that anyone can try their hand at skating

Mr Cresswell said: "It's not even December yet and we have already drummed up a lot of interest. We've had quite a lot of families already come down to have a go on the ice.

"We're really excited to see what else is in store for the rink in the lead up to Christmas."

And it's not just the ice rink attracting the crowds to the garden centre as Spotty and Blitzie the reindeer are on hand to put a smile on visitors' faces. Fans of the furry creatures can visit the pair in their pen and watch their reindeer antics at close hand until they leave on December 23.

Burton Mail reporter Beth Pridding went along to Bretby Garden Centre following the opening of their real Ice Rink.
Blitzie - One of the two Raindeer that have come to stay at the Garden Centre till 23rd December.
Blitzie and Spotty will be at the garden centre until December 23

There will also be a festive craft fair on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19, where visitors can get ahead with their Christmas shopping with treats made by local people on show.

The ice rink is open every day until January 7, excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, with special late night skate sessions until 8pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights from December 6. More information can be found on Planters at Bretby's website .

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The most wonderful time of the year...

What was reporter Beth Pridding's take on the ice rink?

I am not a great ice skater, having only been a handful of times in my life. It's great that there is an ice rink in the local area that anybody can go to.

I can't deny that it is a great workout and I definitely worked up a good sweat while out on the ice.

When I finally plucked up the courage to take my hands off the railing, I realised it actually was quite fun and I would definitely recommend anyone keen to get out on the ice to check it out.