Flood water swept through the historic walled garden of Plas Cadnant on Anglesey in North Wales in the early hours of Boxing Day morning. It destroyed part of the walled garden, including sections of a 200-year-old wall, destroyed statuary, stone obelisks, platforms and seating and washed away many precious plants, including rare botanical specimens.
Former farmer and Plas Cadnant owner Anthony Tavernor has been restoring the 10-acre garden and surrounding buildings for 20 years, describing it as his life's project, but the deluge of rain funneled down the valley into the Walled Garden, destroyed much of that work in one night.
Tavernor has now learned from NFU Mutual that he is insured for the rebuilding of the walls and a large part of the garden restoration. "Words can't express my relief at this news," he said.
He continued: "It will take months to shift the tonnes of rock that were sent thundering through the valley gardens. Most of this work will have to be done manually, using winches and levers, as it was when the gardens were first created. The site is very steep and inaccessible for machinery.
"Although the hard landscaping is covered by the insurance, many mature plants were destroyed and precious botanical specimens have disappeared, these will need to be replaced. Fortunately the snowdrops were only just starting to grow, so most of them are fine. We usually open on Sundays in February for the Snowdrops, so will keep this under review as we need to make sure that the gardens are safe before we can welcome visitors back. We will definitely open at Easter.
"Although it's daunting, we will restore Plas Cadnant back to its former glory, which can be seen in a new book which was due to be published this Easter. We are overwhelmed by the many messages of support. Fortunately, no-one was injured and our holiday cottages were unaffected. Large parts of the gardens were undamaged. We hope that people will make a point of visiting this year as a way of helping us recover and to see how we are getting on with the second restoration of this remarkable garden."