Beds, Herts & Bucks

Old Warden Park Regency garden gets £2.8m lottery grant

Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park
Image caption The Swiss Garden has meandering paths, garden ponds and ornate hump-backed bridges

A 19th Century garden in Bedfordshire has been given £2.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to repair and conserve buildings and ornamental structures.

The Swiss Garden in Old Warden Park is an example of the Regency fashion for creating gardens to capture the essence of Alpine scenery.

The money will help repair structures such as the thatched tree seat, the Indian kiosk and the fernery.

Local residents will be involved in managing the garden.

Two horticultural apprenticeships and two built heritage apprenticeships are also being offered by the Shuttleworth Trust and its partner Central Bedfordshire Council, which takes care of the garden.

It is also hoped that the garden will be promoted to more visitors and school groups.

A spokeswoman for the Shuttleworth Trust said of the grant: "We're absolutely delighted and ecstatic.

"We've worked really hard for it and look forward to conserving the garden for the future and for our children."

The Swiss Garden was designed in the 1820s by Robert, the third Lord Ongley.

It was designed to give a 'secret' feel with meandering paths, garden ponds and ornate hump-backed bridges.

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