Parlington Hall :: The Estate :: Willowgarth Plantation Pond
Header image of the mini manmade island with an oak tree planted in the middle, recently recovered from the undergrowth, which was in danger of making it an inaccessible swamp. Once cleared, the full splendour of the place becomes apparent. Although it is very much a forest glade, no doubt in the nineteenth century it would have formed a more formal landscape with gravel footpaths passing along the avenues of yew trees, which of course still exist.
The pond was one of two or perhaps three, as the plan shows a small circular pond? just west of the other two, to view the plan of the area in a pop-up click here. The ponds were surrounded by pathways which have largely disappeared, although the main path which turns through ninety degrees around the northern end of the pond is still evident, but is now a track suitable for forestry machinery rather than a walkway!
Above is a recent shot of the tree in the pond, this is some two years after the header image, (doesn't time fly!) the slow build up of water plants is starting to strangle the pond again. Also the second shot is a full month earlier in the year and is noticably less colourful, with no bluebells and a hard cold sky. The pond is fed by groundwater which whilst providing sufficient for the pond itself has no discernable outfall, although there is a low cutting which looks as if it might be the overflow in wet periods.
Giant Redwood or Sequoia
The Giant Redwood in the above image is a junior tree by comparison with its cousins in the their native land the Sierra Nevada range of California, moreover it is a mere sapling given the great age that this species achieves: in excess of 3,500 years! Various conflicting dates of the introduction to the UK abound, but it is likely that the species started to be planted in the UK from around the mid 1850's, thus this example may be 160 years old. This tree is very close to the pond and forms part of the avenue of yew trees that forms the pathway running through the plantation. If you love trees, as I do, you may find this article on Wikipedia informative.
The pond in the Willowgarth Plantation is on a pathway which originates near the Triumphal Arch, due to agricultural requirements this pathway has long since disappeared, I suspect it passed across an open pasture in the past and as the walled Paddocks abutt this area it may have been used for the husbandry of the horses being reared there.
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