Trust seeks funds to save gardens

Easton Lodge Gardens in Great Dunmow, Essex, could fall into disrepair and shut its gates to the public unless its conservation trust raises £250,000 to preserve the Harold Peto-designed landmark.

The owners, Brian and Diana Creasey, will retire in May 2008, so the Gardens of Easton Lodge Preser-vation Trust has written a development plan for the gardens, and intends to submit a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to restore Peto’s design. Up to £250,000 will be needed to provide match funding. Trustee Jim Gillies said the registered garden is “one of the prime examples of Harold Peto’s work”and receives 12,000 visitors annually. He added: “Unless at least £25,000 is raised to provide working capital within the next three months, there is a possibility that the trust will not be able to take over the gardens and they could close at the end of April 2008.” He added that the crumbling Italian sunken garden is in “desperate need” of restoration.

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