To celebrate 140 years since the publication of Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, the gardens of Waterston Manor, will be opened by Made in Chelsea Celebrity Francis Boulle on Sunday 8th June to raise funds for opposition group TAINT (Tolpuddle Against INdusrial Turbines). The privately owned gardens and house, which are not usually open to the public, were Bathsheba Everdene’s Weatherbury Farm in Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, so it is particularly pertinent that lectures from well known Hardy specialists Barrie Bullen and Tony Fincham on respectively “Waterston in Far From the Madding Crowd”, and “The Hardy Landscape under threat from wind farm development”, will also run during the day.
Visitors will have the chance to explore the wonderful garden and grounds, which have been recently restored and newly created, including the magnificent main lawn with a long rill and a pleached lime walk; the woodland walk, the river walk with meadows beside the river Piddle, a walled garden, the south garden with rose beds, the orchard with very old apple trees and a brand newly planted yew maze.
In addition there will be many stalls for both adults and children, selling specialist local plants such as David Austin Roses, North American Prairie Plants, Ferns & Grasses, Rare & Unusual Perennials and Plants for Pollinators, food and arts and craft as well a live music, a bouncy castle, fun dog show and cream teas as well as learn more about the potential damage to the community and landscape from the proposed wind farm development.
Katherine Butler of Waterston Manor and a leading campaigner against the wind farms, who has even been likened to a modern day Bathsheba Everdene says: “It is time to put an end to the feeding frenzy by developers and landowners who rush to destroy our landscape in an attempt to cash in on the windfall from Government subsidies. I am determined to prevent the destruction of our beautiful countryside in a misguided solution to our energy needs. This destruction will continue until there is a considered policy on the location of renewable projects.”
The gardens will be open between 10am and 4pm and are at Waterston Manor, Lower Waterston, near Puddletown DT2 7SP.