Volunteers needed for garden survival

PUBLISHED: 06:16 08 February 2007 | UPDATED: 21:32 29 May 2010

Patrick and Joe Cardwell enjoyed the Snowdrop Walk - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Patrick and Joe Cardwell enjoyed the Snowdrop Walk - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

VOLUNTEERS are being sought to ensure the Gardens of Easton Lodge can remain open to the public. Just this week Brian and Diana Creasey, owners of Warwick House and its six-acre garden, have said they are retiring after 36 years at the gardens. Over the y

VOLUNTEERS are being sought to ensure the Gardens of Easton Lodge can remain open to the public.

Just this week Brian and Diana Creasey, owners of Warwick House and its six-acre garden, have said they are retiring after 36 years at the gardens.

Over the years, the couple have supported the 10 core volunteers in gardening, manning the entrance gate and carrying out various restoration projects.

"It's certainly an end of an era but Brian and Diana will be staying at the house and are keen for people to continue to come and enjoy the gardens and become actively involved in the running, preservation and maintenance of the gardens," said press officer Catherine Mummery.

The 23-acre tourist attraction is jointly owned by the Creaseys and Land Securities who, in 2004, brought the estate from Neil and Caroline Spurriers, the great-granddaughter of the Countess of Warwick.

Land Securities are in the process of negotiating a 30 year lease with the Gardens of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust. The Creaseys will also put in a similar lease.

This will enable the trust to submit applications for vital funding from groups such as the Lottery

Heritage Fund to continue projects such as restoration work on the Italian Sunken Garden.

"Now Brian and Diana are retiring we need people to volunteer to help with assisting in the gardens. Without a greater involvement by volunteers it is possible the gardens will have to cut back on the days they are open for, or a reduction in opening hours.

"The worst case scenario is they will not be able to open up to the public at all which would be a great shame after all of the hard work that has been put in by everyone." she said.

If you would like to volunteer to help, or would like to know more, telephone Mr Creasey on 01371 876979.

In the meantime, it's business as usual for the gardens having opened its doors on Saturday for its annual Snowdrop Walk.

It was the first chance of the year for visitors to admire the first blooms of the approaching Spring.

"This year we've got a beautiful carpet of flowers all over the Bosquet," said Mrs Mummery.

"It's so nice to see the gardens looking so beautiful after the storms that hit us a couple of weeks ago.

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