The first stage of a £6.7million project that aims to uncover and restore historic landscape at the National Botanic Garden of Wales has been given the go-ahead.

Experts plan to bring to life the origins of Middleton Hall – the 568-acre estate occupied by the garden, in a bid to reveal secrets from the time of Shakespeare and before.

It will see the restoration of Regency landscape, including seven lakes, cascades, and waterfalls created over 200 years ago.

The Regency landscape, it is claimed, was once one of the finest water parks in the UK.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged more than £300,000 to get the project underway.

Welsh botanic garden director Dr Rosie Plummer said: “It is an ambitious project and the most significant undertaking since the garden opened in 2000.”

The National Botanic Garden of Wales has received over 2.2million visitors in 14 years and features a single-span Great Glasshouse that was designed by Lord Norman Foster.

Go to www.gardenofwales.org.uk for visiting details and more information.