As part of the preparation for our 20 years celebrations, our Chinese Bronzes and Women’s Library collections will be closed from Monday 26 February, reopening with the rest of our new season on Thursday 21 March.

Planting the East Park at Compton Verney

Planting is continuing this winter season in the East Park at Compton Verney, with support as always from Natural England under a countryside stewardship agreement. We’ve also thankfully gained additional financial support from Mercers’. The end result will see more avenue trees, a copse and Capability Brown tree ‘clump’ restored.


Preparing 50+ planting holes… © Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

The aim across the surface of both east park fields is to nurture a wild flower sward, which is improving year-on-year with careful, ongoing management. Within the fields we are also re-establishing tree cover that closely follows a plan by Paul Padley, from 1818. The combination of wild flowers and trees should in time help re-capture the former splendour of the historic parkland.


IN goes one of the avenue trees – one of 16 Oaks. © Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

At this stage we’re nearly half way through the project which could see us out planting through to Christmas, our focus however is to plant effectively so that each tree has the best possible start. Adam, (the other 50% of the grounds staff!) and I are very aware of the fact that we’re planting for the future, and with each tree, whilst we may start by digging the holes with a digger, we always end up on our knees, at the edge of each planting hole feeding crumbs of soil between the roots.


Planted and awaiting parkland tree guard… © Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

The plants this time have been supplied in bare-root form, which is a trial to see how well they establish compared to earlier container grown trees. We’re also experimenting with mycorrhizal fungi root dip which should, we hope aid establishment and growth.


Sun down at the end of another successful day planting at Compton Verney. © Compton Verney / Gary Webb 2014

At the time of typing we have 30 English Oak trees into the ground, which isn’t bad considering the weather and heavy clay soil. We’re now looking forward to next week when more of the volunteer team will join us to push through and complete the task – I’ll be sure to post an update once we’re done and dusted!


Regards, Gary Webb, Head of Landscape & Garden at Compton Verney.