Garden lovers can step into the world of Thomas Hardy from tranquil new shepherd’s hut

PUBLISHED: 18:58 26 February 2014

The Shepherd's Hut

The Shepherd's Hut

Archant

Literary fans can step into the world of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd by visiting a newly-built shepherd’s hut in a tranquil garden setting.

The Shepherd's HutThe Shepherd's Hut

From April, visitors to Wickets Gardens, in Langley Upper Green, on the outskirts of Saffron Walden, will be able to take in the rural landscape from within the hut.

The gardens, owned by Doug and Susan Copeland and open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme, will welcome pre-booked groups of 10 or more people.

Admission for pre-arranged visits is £4 for adults and free for children. The money will go towards nursing, caring and gardening charities.

Susan, county organiser for NGS Essex, said: “The new shepherd’s hut offers our ­visitors a wonderful vantage point to rest after long walks around our gardens and in our wildflower meadows.

“Plankbridge, the company that built the hut, even got a signwriter to paint Far from the Madding Crowd in Thomas Hardy’s handwriting on our hut, which is exactly where this hut takes people.”

Founder and owner of Plankbridge, Richard Lee, said: “Doug and Susan’s hut is what we call The Riverkeeper’s Hut, as it has double doors on the longer side of the hut, making it an ideal shelter to take in rolling views, whether it’s by a river, lake or in a large garden.”

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