A NATIONAL Trust site near Malvern has scooped two prestigious gongs at the Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017.
Croome took home the ‘Best Parks Restoration/Development Project’ award for the restoration of its 18th century parkland, as well as the ‘Best Visitor-Engagement Event’ award for its ‘Brown at Work’ miniature landscape project, at a ceremony in Befordshire’s Woburn Abbey House and Gardens Sculpture Gallery.
Thanks to funding of more than £8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Natural England, English Heritage and others, and nearly 20 years of hard work by a team of gardeners, rangers and volunteers, the parkland at Croome has been returned to its 18th century heyday – which was designed by ‘Capability’ Brown’.
The awards were judged by Tony Arnold, chairman of the Professional Gardeners’ Guild, Sally Drury, technical editor of Horticulture Week, Sue Ireland, former City of London corporation director of open spaces, Dave Lofthouse, executive member of the London Tree Officers Association and Alan Sargent, a master gardener.
Michael Forster-Smith, Croome’s general manager, said: “It’s fantastic the hard work of our gardens team has been recognised by this prestigious national award.
“With the support of a number of generous donations and grants, one of Brown’s finest works has been returned to its former glory.
“While there is still work to do to at Croome, this is a great moment to reflect on how much has been achieved in a relatively short period of time.
“Our restored parkland is, once again, a meaningful and special place for all those who love spending time at Croome.”
Mike Calnan, head of gardens for the National Trust, said “The teams that manage National Trust gardens and parks pride themselves on maintaining the highest standards of attention to historic detail, horticultural expertise and innovation, so I’m delighted the team at Croome have been recognised for their hard work.”
As part of Worcestershire Libraries and Learning Service’s Summer Reading Challenge, celebrated author Mark Lowery will be at Croome on Wednesday, July 26.