With the wonderful Batsford just a few miles away it would be folly of me to refer to the tree collection at Compton Verney as anything like an arboretum. However, as it’s National Tree Week, and especially if you’re interested in trees and country walks, then it might be wise not to overlook the trees of Compton Verney.
In excess of a thousand trees of all shapes, species and sizes live on site, in this grade II star listed historic landscape. The property forms part of the Compton Verney and Combrook Conservation Area and it’s also a local wildlife site. Further to this, with the villages of Kineton and Wellesbourne nearby, Compton Verney is supported, protected and enjoyed by many local residents.
An area that I feel deserves more focus is the Ice House Coppice, an area re-establishing as a woodland garden from its early 18th century origin. Its trees are largely mature oak along with yew, ash, larch and horse chestnut. The broadleaf trees are generally growing straight and true with high canopies and many ‘screening’ yew trees below.
Here and there where gaps in the overhead canopy exist, new trees have been planted including the occasional ‘exotic’ tree and a range of native specimens chosen not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for wildlife benefits.
The coppice therefore is an area of incredible and growing diversity. As it’s original functionality returns with curving walks offering views at key points, its flora builds year on year and new plants are beginning to show how this woodland garden may have once looked.
And the trees…..? Well they’re frequently full of bird song with the odd squirrel clambering about, and after dark – our beloved tawny owls, bats and badgers roam free.
The trees themselves offer a range of habitats for wildlife but also are stunning in their own right – some being solid and healthy whilst other contemporary trees are having to be managed (pruned/reduced) during their decline.
The coppice really is a special area within the park to enjoy at any time of year but with our last open day of the 2015 season fast approaching – there’s no time like the present to come over for a reviving stroll to enjoy Compton Verney’s range of tree specimens.
National Tree Week