Wednesday 1st April 2015

This morning Lady Ashcombe (Owner of Sudeley Castle) , Roger Mortlock (CEO of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust) and Mike Dean (Mayor of Tewkesbury) Opened Sudeley Castle's latest attraction ‘Lost in the Willows’, a living willow maze and dipping pond.

Designed and installed by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, the maze is based on classic children’s novel, The Wind in the Willows and is made up of a series of interconnected areas where children can run free and have adventures exploring and finding the burrows of Badger, Ratty and Mole.

The maze also contains a wildflower meadow, a small orchard, a pond and a free play area, so there’s plenty for children to explore.

“We are really excited about this project,” said Gareth Parry, Head of Community Programmes. “It’s a fantastic way to tell people about the work we do for ‘Ratty’ the water vole as part of our Cotswold Rivers Living Landscape Project. Furthermore, Sudeley Castle has generously agreed to include a donation to GWT from the price of each entry ticket.”

Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, who owns and lives at Sudeley Castle & Gardens, said: “The castle offers so much for children and adults alike, and this new attraction will provide a world of fun for little ones and fans of The Wind in the Willows.

“We’re proud to be working alongside the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to produce the maze, which will also be used for teaching children about nature and the environment. We can’t wait to welcome guests to this exciting new play area set amidst the dramatic backdrop of the castle.”

Located only eight miles from the picturesque Cheltenham and Broadway, Sudeley Castle & Gardens is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds. The last of Henry VIII’s six wives, Katherine Parr lived and died in the castle, where she still remains today entombed in a beautiful restored 15th century church found within the award-winning gardens.

Other highlights include a unique Katherine Parr exhibition, which allows guests to view personal items of the queen including rare copies of original books she wrote.

An owlery, pheasantry, adventure playground with picnic area, gift shop and restaurant in the old medieval banqueting hall complete the perfect day out.

Sudeley Castle & Gardens, The Cotswolds