Lily garden is disfigured by roadworks pollution

By Matthew Appleby A pollution nightmare has hit the largest national collection of water lilies in the UK. Yellow clay from nearby roadworks is polluting the main pond at Bennett’s Water Gardens at Chickerell in Dorset. Partner Angela Bennett blames wash-off from the roadworks, which will continue until Christmas. The National Council for the Conservation of Plants & Gardens has sent a letter of concern to the gardens. She said that it is the first time such a problem has hit Bennett’s since her father-in-law, Norman, founded it in 1958. Her husband, Jonathan, is co-partner in the gardens, which pioneered pondlining. “This has never happened in 47 years. It’s killing the reflections and the clay isn’t allowing the buds to bloom,” Bennett added. Bennett’s is taking Dorset council to court over the incident. A council representative said the Environment Agency is investigating the causes and the council is co-operating in the agency’s work. The roadworks could ruin the first wedding to be held at the 3.2ha tourist attraction in two weeks’ time.

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