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Bridgeman landscape restoration begins at Lodge Park

What's on at Lodge Park

The restoration of the Grade I listed landscape at Lodge Park in Gloucestershire is now underway.
The first 102 trees in the restoration project have now been planted. The trees include both lime and elm trees.
The landscape was designed for Sir John Dutton by Charles Bridgeman in the 1720s, and wasn’t changed by later fashions as many of his other designs were. Bridgeman was Royal Gardener to George II, and worked on Hampton Court and Kensington Palace, as well as Hyde Park.
Historically 14,000 elms were planted in the design however none survive due to diseases including Dutch elm disease. The elms which have now been planted are disease-resistant Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ elms.
The trees have been planted by the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, as well as National Trust staff and volunteers. It is with thanks to the tenant of the landscape, and a legacy left for tree planting, that this project has started.
Julie Reynolds, Curator, says ‘This remarkable eighteenth century designed landscape has changed so little over 300 years, we can still see the ghost of Charles Bridgeman’s design today.  This may be unique as all other known Bridgeman landscapes have been altered by later, more fashionable designs.  This restoration project will re flesh the landscape with many of the trees and avenues that have been lost.  Already, in the first phase of work, we can see how putting these elements back helps us to understand Bridgeman’s use of the natural contours of the land in the design.
Although the landscape was completed while Sir John Dutton lived, his Will asked his heir to ‘finish and perfect the landscape at my New Park, pursuant to a plan made by Mr Charles Bridgeman’. While his heir didn’t complete the landscape, nearly 300 years later the work to complete it has begun.
Simon Nicholas, Countryside Manager, added ‘we’ve planted larger trees than usual, and it’s lovely to see the immediate impact they’ve had. It’s exciting to be realising Bridgeman’s vision by recreating his design in the landscape. Having the physical evidence out there brings a connection, you know you’re replacing trees that stood there so long ago.’
‘As the project goes on we’ll be planting large blocks of trees,  introducing large numbers of local trees and shrubs which will bring benefits including increased nesting and feeding sites for birds, as well as lots of pollen sources for insects.’

Explore Gloucestershire
28 February

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