The final piece of Capability Brown’s design has been made a reality. Take a stroll around the serpentine lake and discover for yourself how the vision of English landscaping genius Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, known as ‘the Shakespeare of gardening’, is coming to life.
Over the past 10 years we have been implementing a long forgotten Capability Brown plan that was discovered in 1980. In this he planned to create a serpentine lake and plant new trees, both individually and in clumps. The project was begun in 2009 when the first scoop of earth was taken to create 2 lakes. The following year trees were planted and a fully accessible path installed allowing easy all year round access for visitors of all abilities. To celebrate the tercentenary of Brown’s birth and baptism here in 2016 more work was undertaken. These included installing a wooden edging round the lake and excavating both ends to give the illusion of a river flowing through the landscape. In order to overcome the difference in water levels of the 2 lakes a stone ‘cascade’ was installed and a spiral mound planted with evergreen shrubs. All our visitors can enjoy a 1km walk round the lake resting when they feel the need on several benches and viewpoints. Recently, thanks to a generous benefactor, children from 3 local schools, have helped us to plant 2000 wildflower plugs and bulbs all of which would have been familiar to Brown. We are looking forward to seeing the colorful effect this spring.
It is remarkable to observe the difference that 7 years can make on this maturing landscape and we like to remind our visitors that this is how Lancelot Brown would have seen his landscapes.
The lake project has greatly added to the enjoyment of all as well as restoring a listed Grade 2 parkland that was rapidly deteriorating due to poor drainage and loss of trees.