On 30th November, children from Cambo, Belsay and Priory Schools planted saplings in the Capability Brown landscape at Kirkharle as the last act of celebration to mark the great man’s 300th birthday.
Brown's daily walks from Kirkharle to Cambo school were inspiration for his work, even though the mature trees he envisaged were only in his imagination and on paper plans, making his landscapes today all the more spectacular.
The children assisted in planting 420 saplings of birch, cherry, oak and rowan, provided by The Woodland Trust and selected as being ideal for harsher conditions in the north of England.
The Director of The Woodland Trust, John Tucker, said: “We want to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife. Thanks to Kirkharle Creative applying for one of our tree packs, the vision is a step nearer reality. Of course, we were especially pleased to help in this very special year, the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown’s birth. It is great that Kirkharle is continuing his legacy of improving its landscape with trees”.
The planting, also supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, took place in the parkland beside Brown’s lake, recently completed with a cascade in true ‘CB style’, just as he created on a larger scale at Blenheim, cleverly deceiving the eye as the visitor leaves the courtyard towards the lake, adjusting the water levels to two bodies of water with a neck of land between. The lake now gives the impression of a continuing river course. The new trees will screen and protect the lake area from the road and also act to limit noise, as well as providing habitat for birds.
Explaining the huge educational benefits of the recent works completed at Kirkharle, Kitty Anderson of Kirkharle estate, said: “We already have several interpretation boards around the lake and we also provide activity sheets for children to help them identify the flora and fauna. These new trees can only add to that experience and the school children will in the future be able to tell their children and grandchildren about the contribution they made to CB’s special vision for Kirkharle and be very proud as the trees grow and mature.”
About the Authour: Kitty Anderson, Kirkharle.