Goodbye to all this: the man who kept gardens at Ashridge House in tip top shape retires after 45 years

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One of the gardeners at a local landmark retired on his 60th birthday after 45 years of working there.

Chris Beddall stepped down from the post at Ashridge House – which is in the middle of 5,000 acres of National Trust forest – last Thursday. He had tended the mansion’s Grade II-listed gardens since he left school in 1968.

He said: “I count myself as fortunate to have been able to do a job that I thoroughly enjoyed and at a truly wonderful location. Could there have been a better or more beautiful place to have worked?

“When I first joined, there was still a lot of clearance work to carry out after areas had become overgrown during the war. We then began restoration work including the improvements to the Italian gardens. I will miss the people I worked with at Ashridge.”