It’s high time for an update from the grounds team at Compton Verney where so much is happening it’s almost too difficult to keep track! We’re into that time of heavenly sunsets and beautiful frosty mornings, which of course brings ample opportunity for topping up the photo album.
The landscape and garden continues to be a hive of activity with numerous areas undergoing change and improvement as a result of the Heritage Lottery funded Re-viewing the Landscape project.The Back Lawn as we’re now calling it is settling down after nearly three months of hard effort from the landscape contractors. Its new circular path is firming up nicely; the cambered surface similar in profile to the original ‘Capability’ Brown path that disappeared decades ago. This new profile is designed to shed water more effectively and as a result be more resilient.
The reason for re-introduction of this path will become evident to visitors who will now have the opportunity to enjoy more easily the magnificent west front of the gallery. The path now passes through the grove of Lime trees exactly as originally intended – the new surface sitting directly above the original path.
Next on the list is the old chapel that was also designed by Brown; a direct replacement for the one removed from the lakeside in the 18th century. The image suggests much work is in order, but the building on the whole is in incredibly good condition. Access is however required to all the stonework outside, the roof and bell tower, and much of the interior also. This work will be completed by midsummer.
In a southern corner of the middle pool is an area that lies very boggy, and much activity is seen here also. Through some of the wettest winter weeks the area has undergone a complete transformation, with improvements to the water flow and drainage (as shown above,) and a new board walk has also been incorporated to protect the delicate area.
We’re expecting the Wilderness Area to regenerate quickly, but we’ve lots of extra planting ready that along with the coppiced shrubs will make this area as attractive to wildlife as it possibly can be. In a future post I’ll bring images of the nearly complete bird hide and pond dipping platform.
Last, but certainly not least is the new welcome centre. Again the work has been constant but we’re really starting to see progress now with the roof taking shape and wall sections popping up by the day. Background planning has been considerable, not only for the building itself but also the new interpretation room that is eagerly awaited; here we’ll be giving a more comprehensive introduction to all that Compton Verney has to offer.I should end by saying that this update just covers the major project work on site – we’re also very busy with regular grounds work and #CVgrounds project/event planning for the year ahead – just check out the Regency Ball for example!
Head of Landscape and Gardens at Compton Verney.