BLENHEIM Palace's Queens Pool is looking slightly less picturesque as a lake dredging project begins.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is removing 400,000 tonnes of silt from the pool and the main lake to prevent them drying out completely.

The work is part of a £12m rescue plan to safeguard the iconic palace grounds.

Over the next two years, the lakes will be restored to their original 18th century condition to prevent the disappearance of a vista dubbed 'the finest view in England' by Winston Churchill's father, Lord Randolph Churchill.