Re-viewing the Landscape is GO!

Well, if you’re wondering why posts from the Compton Verney grounds blog have been few and far between lately, then a certain Heritage Lottery Fund project could be the reason! In all seriousness, our ‘Re-viewing the Landscape‘ project, after many months of planning and preparation, is finally seeing action on the ground.

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© Compton Verney/Gary Webb 2015

There is of course quite a knock-on effect to the grounds team work program, but a few months of hardship is nothing compared to the return on investment. Over the course of the autumn and winter, we’ll see a brand new visitor welcome centre rise up, not only complete with improved facilities, but with an interpretation room that promises a much improved introduction to your landscape and gallery that is Compton Verney.

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The old visitor lodge has now gone! Work here shows clearance activity. © Compton Verney/Gary Webb 2015

Restoration work will begin on Capability Brown‘s chapel, works that will not simply preserve the fabric of the building but facilitate a wide range of uses for this very special chapel. New, bespoke interpretation will be introduced to the site, designed to engage and inform in a variety of new ways.

In a re-worked ‘wilderness’ area of the Ice House Coppice, as shown below, there will be two new features: a pond dipping facility and a bird-hide, along with good quality access paths. All are eagerly awaited, as they will add new opportunities for all to engage with nature at Compton Verney, beyond our well established forest school activities. So, but for the scenes of apparent devastation below, we’re actually improving the site in many respects – honest!

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Grounds volunteers disposing of some excess material in true clearance fashion – a bonfire! We have of course chipped tons of material to re-use wherever possible. © Compton Verney/Gary Webb 2015

So, with all this activity on site, it is fair to say that we’re tip-toeing between the various teams on some days, and working alongside them on others. Recording all this activity is relatively quick – a photo snatched here and there is easy, but publishing is altogether different! At any given time we have activity that includes archaeology, architecture, construction, landscaping, restoration, interpretation and much more – it is all go I can tell you.

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Initial turf clearing for the intended footpath began last week, some here cutting new ground, whilst some areas will sit just above the historic ‘Brownian’ footpath. © Compton Verney/Gary Webb 2015

I shall aim to post updates to this blog as frequently as possible, so do drop by or add your e-mail to receive updates. And of course, if you’re aiming to visit and your little-ones like diggers – there are five on site to my knowledge!

Regards, Gary. Head of Landscape & Gardens at Compton Verney.

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