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Tributes paid to 'highly-valued' Keeper of the Gardens at Windsor Great Park

Tributes paid to 'highly-valued' Keeper of the Gardens at Windsor Great Park

Tara O'Connor

Tributes paid to 'highly-valued' Keeper of the Gardens at Windsor Great Park

One of the country’s leading horticulturists and Keeper of the Gardens at Windsor Great Park has passed away aged 56.

Mark Flanagan died on Saturday, October 24, following a number of weeks in hospital, after suffering from a cardiac arrest five weeks earlier.

Mark worked for the Crown Estate for nearly 20 years and was responsible for the management of Savill and Valley Gardens, as well as the private gardens at Frogmore House.

The well respected gardener raised the profile of the public gardens and increased understanding of the horticulture, heritage and conservation in the area.

The father-of-two was the driving force behind the development of the Savill Building and the new visitor centre at Virginia Water. Both were nationally recognised with awards.

Deputy ranger of Windsor Great Park, Paul Sedgwick, said: “It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to one of the most central members of our team.

“Mark was a highly-valued friend and colleague to all who knew and worked with him.

“Although he will be sorely missed his achievements will stand as constant reminders of his great contributions to the Windsor Estate and to horticulture.”

Before joining the Crown Estate team he spent more than 10 years at Kew Gardens and travelled the world extensively in search of hardy plants.

He also lectured and contributed regular articles to horticultural journals and jointly authored two books on plant collecting.

While Mark was being cared for at the Harefield Hospital in Uxbridge, he was awarded a Royal Victorian Order on September 24.

Mark's family have set up a Just Giving page in his memory with proceeds going to Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity.

The gardener’s family, daughter Sophie, son Callum and wife Lesley, say on the page: “We are totally heartbroken to have lost Mark but the support we have received has been overwhelming and we cannot thank you enough.”

The page, justgiving.com/markflanagan, has already raised more than £1,400.

Mark’s funeral will be held on Wednesday, November 11, at 1.45pm at The Royal Chapel in Windsor Great Park.

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