Water Gardens are ‘a complete slum’

Painting by Alan Sorrell of Geoffrey Jellicoe's plans for Hemel Hempstead.
Painting by Alan Sorrell of Geoffrey Jellicoe's plans for Hemel Hempstead.

A RENOWNED landscape architect has condemned Hemel Hempstead’s Water Gardens as ‘a complete slum’.

Tom Turner, a lecturer at the University of Greenwich, discovered ‘weeds, ducks, drug addicts and winos’ as he was researching a book.

9/8/2011'The Water Gardens in Hemel Hempstead are shabby.

9/8/2011'The Water Gardens in Hemel Hempstead are shabby.

Mr Turner knew the famous designers of the Water Gardens, Geoffrey Jellicoe and his wife Susan, who reported the scheme was their ‘favourite project’.

He said: “I’m writing a book on British garden history. I was hoping to get a nice photo of their favourite project and all I got was a patch of bare earth with beer cans and syringes.

“It’s disgraceful. It’s just tragically neglected.”

In a statement Dacorum Borough Council said it was bidding for Heritage Lottery funding to restore the gardens and hoped to set up a Friends of the Water Gardens group.