THE gardens at Gregynog are being lovingly restored with the help of volunteers.

Gregynog Hall’s Grade I listed gardens are enjoying a helping hand from local volunteers Yvette Etcell and Rachael Briggs.

The volunteers have rolled up their sleeves to help with the mammoth task of weeding, pruning, clipping and trimming in Gregynog’s extensive grounds.

The gardens have been described by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, as “one of the most important parks and gardens in Powys”, dating from at least the 1500s’; and by the Gardener’s Chronicle in 1912 as “highly artistic and in complete harmony with the natural surroundings”.

The formal gardens now feature attractive early concrete bridges and ceramic fountains, surrounded by masses of rhododendrons and azaleas, framed by the natural beech woodlands above The Dingle, and the water gardens of The Dell.

Jan Wallwork-Clarke, CEO of Gregynog Trust, said: “The gardens are glorious, but keeping on top of the amount of work needed is a huge task.

“In the days of the Davies sisters there would have been an army of gardeners on hand, but in modern times that is no longer the case, and our volunteer army is hugely appreciated.”

Volunteer, Yvette Etcell added: “I volunteered because my enjoyment of gardening was reignited during lockdown, and having visited Gregynog I knew I would be working in a beautiful environment with like-minded people.

“Before I took early retirement and moved to Wales, I was a director of a large royal warrant-holding landscape and grounds maintenance contracting organisation with a varied client base, which included the Royal household.”

Fellow volunteer, Rachael Briggs added: “I applied because I know Gregynog is a special place, I thought it would be a pleasant place to work, and I wanted to do something active.

“I’m enjoying the company as I work, there’s plenty to do and there’s tea and cake to enjoy at the end. What’s not to like.”

More volunteers are welcome. Please contact Jan Wallwork-Clarke on 01686 650224 if you have some time to spare.