Located near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire and owned by the Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth Remembrance Trust, Old Warden Park is home to the Shuttleworth Collection.
The Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park, Bedfordshire,
created in the 1820s by Lord Ongley, is a late Regency garden and an
outstanding example of the Swiss picturesque In the 1870s the 9 acre garden was bought by the industrialist Joseph
Shuttleworth who introduced Victorian ‘improvements’, while retaining
the original layout of the Regency plan.
Within the 10-acres of gardens is a superb collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs, including Britain's largest Pieris japonica (lily of the valley bush).
As well as the islands and ponds, the garden also contains a number of structures and features. However, as with so many historic gardens, the Swiss Garden has felt the ill effects of time and lack of investment.
But now, thanks to a grant of £2.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) the garden is undergo a large restoration project. Specifically, and according to the HLF announcement the grant will:
'help the Garden’s owner, the Shuttleworth Trust, and
its partner Central Bedfordshire Council, repair and conserve the
Garden’s 13 listed buildings and ornamental structures including the
Swiss Cottage, the Indian Kiosk, the Grotto and Fernery, ornate ironwork
bridges and arches, stone animals and birds, marble memorial tablets
and stone and metal urns.
The project will involve local residents in managing the Swiss
Garden, and two horticultural apprenticeships and two built heritage
apprenticeships will be offered. An important aim is to promote the
Swiss Garden to a wide range of people so that more visitors, including
school groups, can come and learn about this remarkable green oasis.
Work on restoring the garden will begin in early 2013 and is expected to
be completed by summer 2016.'
There is a short video about the garden and the grant can be viewed on the BBC website (sorry I can't embed the video here).
A brochure (above) about the garden is downloadable as a pdf from this link