Landscape firm undertakes restoration after TV filming

Fans of new BBC drama Survivors will have been following the tribulations of a group of people left after a virus wipes out most of the human population.

But when filming was over, the action truly began for Bolton landscaping and grounds maintenance firm Country Landscapes.

The firm was tasked with restoring the grounds of historic Torside Hall - where the TV series is set - to its pre-filming standard.

On the programme, the group of survivors are shown producing their own food after 21st-century comforts have disappeared.

The lawns had been dug up to allow space for the characters to grow food and keep chickens.

Country Landscapes managing director Lee Thorne said he was thrilled when the BBC asked his firm to carry out the work.

"The BBC actually found us through the internet and a lot of our work comes through our website," he said. "It's not every day you get a call from the BBC."

The Lancashire house dates back to 1880 when it was owned by a local mill family, the Porritts.

Its established 6.7ha grounds are made up of 3.2ha of meadowland and 3.4ha of gardens and mature woodland.

"There was quite a lot of work to be done after the filming as a lawn had been dug up and used for hens and a vegetable garden," said Thorne, who worked with operations supervisor Anita Martin and landscape engineer Mick Doll on the project.

"The lawns and entrances were in a mess, but with some quality turf and hard work we got the gardens looking beautiful again."

The team spent three days carrying out the work, which included laying 150sq m of turf.

"It was time-consuming because we had to match it to the existing lawns," Thorne added. "It is a historic house so we had to be quite sensitive. There was quite a lot of work to be done on compaction and that was all done by hand.

"The shrubs needed bringing up to scratch, too, as the owners hadn't been allowed to prune while the filming was going on."


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