A PICTURESQUE park in the midst of the Worcestershire countryside has been given money for improvements.

The three follies at Croome Park, near Upton-on-Severn, are to be restored and repaired this year after a successful bid for £284,000 from government quango Natural England.

Panorama Tower and Pirton Castle, designed by James Wyatt, and Dunstall Castle, designed by Robert Adam, are called ‘outer eye-catchers’ and will be refurbished to their original imposing beauty originally specified by the 6th Earl of Coventry. The three buildings were recently bought by the National Trust, which is also putting the final touches to re-opening 18th-century Croome Court to the public later in the summer.

Michael Smith, park property manager, said: “Thousands of people driving on the M5 in Worcestershire will know the Panorama Tower. We are delighted we can now restore and protect what is not only an integral part of the earl’s vision for Croome but is also an iconic building in Worcestershire.”

He said the follies, although built purely for appearance, would mean visitors would once again be able to enjoy views from both the summits of Dunstall Castle and the Panorama Tower following the restoration of staircases.

Natural England’s partnership with the trust has already allowed the restoration of the ice-house, ha-ha and park seat, and the extensive makeover at the park is now set to continue.

The grade I-listed park was Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s first commissioned landscape and it was here that the 6th Earl brought together the skilled craftsmen of the day to create a landscape which includes some of the most iconic buildings in Worcestershire. The house was bought by the Croome Heritage Trust in October 2007, and it is working with the National Trust to open the building to the public.

Sir Michael Spicer, West Worcestershire MP, said the park was becoming a huge draw for tourists and visitors to the county.

“The grounds are really very good and the views from the church across the fields of rape to the Malvern Hills are spectacular,” he said. “It is becoming a substantive feature in wider Worcestershire with a great deal to offer visitors.”