PLANS are being drawn up to restore the historic gardens surrounding a Great Witley school.

The grounds of Abberley Hall School are regarded as an exceptional example of Victorian landscaping and a parkland plan is being made to uncover hidden features.

Abberley caught the attention of Natural England, the government’s advisor on the natural environment, due to its collection of rare wild flowers.

The organisation has agreed to help fund the parkland plan to establish a full history of the site.

Fiona Paterson, of the Abberley Hall Doundation, said: “Abberley Hall is a Grade II listed property comparable to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. It is one of few examples remaining of provincial Victorian architecture and both the house and grounds are extremely interesting in their preservation of the Victorian ideal.

“There are a number of exceptional features in the grounds such as the iconic clock tower which can be seen, on a clear day, from six counties.

“We have a stunning grotto and cascade built down 100 metres of hillside with views stretching for miles.”

The school’s facilities have expanded and developed over the years but there has been no make-over of the old Victorian estate which remains much as it was in the 1880s.

The Abberley Hall gardens open twice a year to the public, but private tours can be arranged by calling historian and foundation trustee Jo Roche on 01299 832666.