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Shocklach architect restores Swiss Garden in Bedfordshire

Chris Burnett Associates undertakes restoration of 19th century 'hidden gem'

Chris Burnett of Chris Burnett Associates (CBA)

A Shocklach-based landscape architects firm has played a pivotal role in the revival of the ‘hidden gem’ Swiss Garden in Bedfordshire.

Chris Burnett Associates (CBA), one of the North West’s leading specialists in the restoration of historic landscapes, undertook the historically accurate restoration of the reknowned 19th century landscape.

Now owned by the Shuttleworth Trust, the nine acre landscape was originally created in the 1820s by Lord Ongley as a Swiss idyll within Old Warden Park, near Biggleswade, but stood neglected for much of the 20th century.

Under the ambitious restoration, CBA was responsible for the specification of tens of thousands of trees, shrubs herbaceous plants and bulbs appropriate for a regency ‘picturesque garden’ and the delivery of a complex nine month landscape contract.

The Swiss Cottage in Swiss Garden restored by Chris Burnett Associates
 

Funded by a £2.8m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant, the restoration has also seen the repair and conservation of the garden’s 13 listed buildings and ornamental structures including the Swiss Cottage. The garden reopened to the public on Thursday July 31 and has been hailed as a ‘hidden gem’ by HLF East of England.

Principal consultant Chris Burnett said: ““We have been privileged to be involved in this complex restoration, to achieve what is now a breathtaking, horticultural masterpiece.

“As specialists in the field of historic landscape restoration we brought our expertise to bear to ensure we did not destroy the maturity of the garden whilst making it come alive in the true spirit of the 19th century vision.

“We are delighted that we have been able to play a key part in ensuring that this garden is passed down intact to future generations.

In a further prestigious commission, CBA also recently delivered a conservation plan for Peel Park in Salford – opened in 1846 as one of Britain’s first public parks - as part of Salford City Council’s bid for Heritage Lottery funding to restore the park to its 19th century structure.

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