'Tidal wave' devastates Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens

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Anthony Tavernor said he was "absolutely devastated"

A historical walled garden has been "devastated" by floods which have washed away a 200-year-old wall and rare plants, its owner has said.

Anthony Tavernor has been restoring Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens, near Menai Bridge, on Anglesey for 20 years, describing it as his life's project.

But after days of heavy rain, a "tidal wave" of flood water swept through the garden in the early hours of Saturday.

Former farmer Mr Tavernor has been restoring the 10-acres of garden and buildings at Plas Cadnant since buying the then overgrown 200-acre estate in 1996.

Image source, Anthony Tavernor
Image source, Anthony Tavernor

It now attracts visitors - both local and from abroad - and its fans include the Prince of Wales, who Mr Tavernor said had hoped to visit the estate.

But the force of the water from the flooded River Cadnant has now washed away many precious plants, including some rare botanical species.

It also demolished a wall dating back some 200 years, as well stone obelisks, platforms and seats.

Image source, Anthony Tavernor

"The garden sits down in the valley so a huge amount of water came down from the fields like a tidal wave, devastating everything in its path," said Mr Tavernor.

"I'm just devastated. This has been my life's project - my purpose in life - for the last 20 years and I live and dream it,

"It's everything. I'm so emotionally involved with the garden. We've had so much support from people since we put the pictures on our Facebook page. It's almost like a bereavement."

Image source, Anthony Tavernor

But he insisted he would carry on his work, despite the setback, and aimed to open as normal for visitors in February.

"I was hoping to have a legacy for the future generations," he added.

"I'm sure a lot of people would abandon it but I'm going to persevere."

Days of rain caused floods which led to roads being closed, trains disrupted and homes evacuated on Boxing Day.

Four flood warnings remain in place across north and west Wales, along with dozens of flood alerts.