Morden Hall Garden Centre prepares to close as National Trust indicates takeover

"It's going to be awful": Capital Gardens managing director Colin Campbell-Preston

First published in News Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Owners of a garden centre threatened by an "awful" takeover by the National Trust are preparing to leave with a closing down sale.

Morden Hall Garden Centre, which Capital Gardens has run for the past 23 years, is due to start a discount sale on Friday, August 1.

Colin Campbell-Preston, managing director of Capital Gardens, said: "We don't quite know what's going to happen but the National Trust has indicated they might not renew our lease so we are taking steps now to reduce our stock."

"It upsets me that I am going to lose 30 per cent of my business. It's been lovely. It's a great little business we have got at the garden centre. It's going to be awful to be honest."

The garden centre, which employs about 15 staff, has been at the heart of a legal battle for more than a year, after the National Trust accused Mr Campbell-Preston of "minor breaches" of his lease, including not fixing soap dispensers.

Edward Ikin, National Trust general manager at Morden Hall Park said: "We are in discussions with Capital Gardens about the future of the garden centre at Morden Hall Park and have shared our intention that we would like to take the garden centre into our care.

"As we are speaking with Capital Gardens directly, and with their solicitors, we do not feel it is appropriate to discuss the details of the matter at this stage."

Mr Campbell-Preston, 56, who was once a page to the Queen Mother and is now vice-chairman of the Garden Museum of which Prince Charles is a patron, says he expects the garden centre to be taken over by the National Trust by the end of August.

The park and cafe at Morden Hall Park remain open as usual.

Comments (4)

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9:46am Wed 30 Jul 14

alphabeti says...

What a terrible shame if the garden centre is forced to close. I always thought it was strange they don't always open the overflow car park at busy periods. I thought it would hurt business at the garden centre. Now I wonder if that is a deliberate act by NT.
What a terrible shame if the garden centre is forced to close. I always thought it was strange they don't always open the overflow car park at busy periods. I thought it would hurt business at the garden centre. Now I wonder if that is a deliberate act by NT. alphabeti
  • Score: 6

12:02pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Georgia Lewis says...

It would behoove the National Trust to focus on doing something productive with the Morden Hall building near the park's entrance instead of damaging a local business. It is a scandal that Morden Hall is unused and vandalised with graffiti.
It would behoove the National Trust to focus on doing something productive with the Morden Hall building near the park's entrance instead of damaging a local business. It is a scandal that Morden Hall is unused and vandalised with graffiti. Georgia Lewis
  • Score: 10

4:54pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Angela M says...

I love this garden centre. :( Even my husband doesn't mind me dragging him around it on a regular basis. What's going to happen to Maidenhead Aquatics?
I love this garden centre. :( Even my husband doesn't mind me dragging him around it on a regular basis. What's going to happen to Maidenhead Aquatics? Angela M
  • Score: 2

5:01pm Fri 1 Aug 14

alphabeti says...

Angela M wrote:
I love this garden centre. :( Even my husband doesn't mind me dragging him around it on a regular basis. What's going to happen to Maidenhead Aquatics?
That's Lower Morden I think. This story is about the garden centre at Morden Hall Park.
[quote][p][bold]Angela M[/bold] wrote: I love this garden centre. :( Even my husband doesn't mind me dragging him around it on a regular basis. What's going to happen to Maidenhead Aquatics?[/p][/quote]That's Lower Morden I think. This story is about the garden centre at Morden Hall Park. alphabeti
  • Score: -1

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