GREEN-FINGERED apprentices have started work on a project to restore the garden of a historic Georgian-style mansion at Moreton Morrell to its former glory.
Students have started renovation works on the Italianate garden at the grade II-listed Moreton Hall, which is part of WCG – formerly Warwickshire College Group.
The garden features an ornamental sundial, herbaceous borders, formal hedges, lawns, paving, steps and a water feature. There will also be work carried out on a small parterre – an ornamental arrangement of flower beds – visible on the approach to the hall.
Works on the garden are expected to be completed in 2022, with more than 80 students and apprentices involved over the course of the development.
It is the first stage in a planned project to transform the expansive grounds around the hall, which are in need of restoration, and in some areas, require redesigning.
The grounds have been left unkempt for more than a decade following the devastating fire which seriously damaged Moreton Hall in 2008.
The mansion house, built in the early 1900s, is set to undergo a major refurbishment to create a national hotel training school and boutique hotel, which will train young people in the key skills required to forge a career in the hospitality industry.
College spokesman Matt Handy said it was a fantastic opportunity for students to work in a heritage garden environment and play an important part in a major project.
He added: “Already we have had apprentices in surveying the area, researching planting plans, along with Italianate garden design and looking into other works of Moreton Hall’s original architect WH Romaine-Walker. We plan to start restoring the boundary hedges of the Italianate garden over the next few months.
“We’ve had great feedback from those involved so far. Everything they do on the site has a purpose, the range of tasks is diverse and they can see that they are contributing to a wider project with a clear end-goal.
“After we complete the first phase, we are hoping to move on to another area of the garden in phase two, opening up the incredible view across the Avon Valley from the west lawn at the rear of the hall. Viewing a sunset from this location justifies without words why this location was chosen for the hall.”