THE grounds in a luxury estate near Broadway has provided a romantic student with the perfect spot to get down on one knee.

Harvey Appleton, a 20-year-old student from Long Marston, wanted to stage a wedding proposal that would sweep girlfriend Jess Waterhouse off her unsuspecting feet.

So he spent months planning the day, the setting, the fireworks, the subterfuge cameraman and his parents hiding in the bushes.

And it all took place on Friday, May 9, at sunset in a private Japanese garden on the 400-acre Farncombe Estate near Broadway.

Luckily Miss Waterhouse, a 19-year-old church intern from Evesham, was duly impressed and Mr Appleton's romantic extravaganza won the day.

The couple, who have been dating for 18 months, plan to wed in 2015.

"She said yes, no hesitation," said Harvey, a first-year Media Technology student at Oxford Brookes University. "It’s amazing – we are so happy.

"Farncombe Estate is a special place for us as it’s somewhere we meet to talk and watch the spectacular sunsets. It’s where our relationship really kicked off and it means a lot to us."

On the night it seemed Mr Appleton had thought of everything.

His mother Vanessa was camouflaged in bushes and on her son’s signal, she shone a torch to John, Harvey's dad, who set off a firework display.

Miss Waterhouse added: "In all the times we've visited our favourite place, never had I realised a hidden paradise was just the other side of the field.

"As Harvey led me through the garden, under the fairy lights that he'd hung upon the trees above us, I was blown away by how much effort he'd put in. The whole week he'd been preparing this moment - just for me.

"I feel very blessed to have someone who is so romantic. The whole day was full of surprises, but the proposal in the evening was by far the best, in particular the fireworks. How could I not have said yes?"

Planning for the proposal began months in advance and it Kerry Jones, assistant estates manager, took up the top-secret project.

She said: "Harvey did a beautiful job with the lighting and setting the scene and I was delighted to help him with his plans."