Garden historians get excited about The Swiss Garden in Bedfordshire. Apparently it’s a unique surviving example of an original Regency-period garden design in the ‘Swiss style’!
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To the average punter it is just a charming maze of evergreen trees, lumps and bumps, pretty thatched buildings, quirky ornaments, curvy ponds and iron bridges.
In 2009 the Imagemakers team were brought in to assist The Shuttleworth Trust and Central Bedfordshire Council with their HLF bid to restore the Swiss Garden.
At first this entailed developing a comprehensive HLF Stage 2 activity plan recommending how this under-appreciated ‘gem’ might be visited more and better appreciated and understood. Key proposals included apprenticeships in conservation building works; local community history and youth fishing projects; a raft of volunteering initiatives, and the development of audio guides, smartphone apps, a sculpture trail and various Regency-period live interpretation events.
Following a successful application for HLF funding, Imagemakers were appointed to implement the interpretation.