Posted by: dorsetcpre | July 10, 2016

Open Day at Waterston Manor with a ‘Ming Vase’ treasure hunt and Lectures on Landscape

A big thank you to everyone who supported our fundraising event on 10th July. Fantastic attendance and great to see so many families join in the ‘Ming Vase’ Treasure hunt. The 19th Century Chinese porcelain was found by a group of children.

Thank you also  to the hard working volunteers and everyone who helped in making it such a success.


After a 2 year break the gardens at Waterston Manor will once again be opened to the public on 10th July. Not only can visitors enjoy the spectacular gardens, they can also participate in a treasure hunt for a piece of Chinese porcelain. There will be a large fair with craft and food stalls, live music, a fun dog show and a specialist plant sale. Proceeds from the day will go to Dorset CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Please view PDF copy of the full program of activities for Waterston Manor Open Day 10th July.

Katharine Butler, the owner at Waterston Manor has hidden the vase in her garden as a tribute to her father, Sir Michael Butler who amassed the world’s finest collection of 17th century Chinese porcelain and died 2 years ago. She said ‘My father would have been amused by the idea and he believed firmly in the ideals of the CPRE.’ The vase is a 12cm Ming style vase previously in the collection of the Duke of Wellington and bought by Katharine in 2015. It will be placed somewhere in the 5 acres of gardens and finders will be keepers.

The privately owned gardens and house, which are not usually open to the public, were the inspiration for Weatherbury Farm in Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd. And during the day there will be a talk by Dr Tony Fincham on ‘Exploring Thomas Hardy’s Wessex’, based upon his new book of the same title from the Wimborne-based Dovecote Press.

Acclaimed author and journalist, Anna Pavord, will also be giving a talk celebrating our British landscape inspired by the tercentenary anniversary of Capability Brown’s death. Her talk, ‘Landscape, A Celebration’ will be free to all visitors.

Fun day for all the family
There will be many stalls selling specialist plants such as David Austin Roses, rare perennials and Plants for Pollinators, a wide variety of food and craft stalls as well as live music from bands such as Howling at the Moon, The Darwins and Harpin’ On. There will be a raffle, a fun dog show and cream teas.

The gardens will be open on 10th July between 10am and 4pm and are at Waterston Manor, Lower Waterston, near Puddletown DT2 7SP. Entry £5 adults,  £1 for children or family ticket £10 (free parking).

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) work to protect, promote and enhance our towns and countryside to make them better places to live, work and enjoy, and to ensure the countryside is protected for now and future generations.

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