Although well-known in the late-18th and 19th centuries, and painted by JMW Turner among many others, by the early 21st century Hackfall had been forgotten and its ponds, views, follies, fountains, paths all derelict and abandoned.
Patrick James and the Landscape Agency led a team that oversaw the implementation of restoration works, funded by a £1million Heritage Lottery Fund grant. It took ten years to plan, seek the necessary permissions and complete. The works helped to restore key features, encouraged public access and improved the ecology – the site is both a Grade I historic landscape and an SSSI.
The project secured the inaugural RIBA/Landscape Institute White Rose Award in 2008 and in 2011 it won the prestigious European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage – a Europa Nostra Award – including the judges ‘Grand Prix’ award.