Restoring the parkland in 2020

With the new car park and entrance opening further to the South this has provided a great opportunity to restore and conserve some of Wimpole's parkland.

Restoration

When Wimpole first opened to visitors in 1979 the car park was located in the Old Rectory Walled Garden, what has been the staff and volunteer car park for many years.  As the numbers of visitors increased the parking moved to the grass under the trees, this was formalised over the years and access routes, trees and hedges planted, to somewhat hide the cars in the landscape.

The parkland used for parking in the 1980s
A view of the green parkland
The parkland used for parking in the 1980s

In February 2020 before the birds started nesting, work started on removing these additions, the parking bays, roadways, hedgerows and some of the trees will eventually all be removed to reverse the planting over the past fifty years.

Recycling the hedges and staying green

The hedgerows and some of the trees have been recycled on site and turned into woodchip and used by the gardens team for mulching and topdressing some of our pathways.  Not only is the woodchip free, its zero mileage to get it here and there is no risk from any plant bugs, so we reduce our risk of infecting our plants.

Landscaping and replanting

With the removal of the roadways and parking bays, much of the surface material will be removed and topsoil brought in from the new car park site, the short distance meaning lorries not travelling huge distances to bring in soil from elsewhere.  It may take a while to settle down but this will then be seeded with grass, creating green parkland which in time will be grazed by our livestock.

The black estate fencing in this area will be removed later in the year once the grass is established and the cattle grids and gates are all in place, then the cattle will be free to roam here.