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Inside this issue:
Bulb planting - help
...and bulbs for sale 2
News from Ray
Wild About Wood
What a contrast between this summer and
last! When I arrived here a year ago (and for
months afterwards) much of the arboretum
was a terrible quagmire, but this year we
and the trees have basked in beautiful warm
sunshine. There hasn’t even been enough
rain to test our new drainage lines – I hope
those aren’t famous last words!
Having been here now for a full year I’ve had
the chance to see the arboretum through a
cycle of seasons, which has been a great
pleasure. On a site of this size there is a lot
to see and explore and I strongly
recommend that you vary the route you take
on each visit. Even going the opposite way
round helps one see things in a new light.
POWER CABLE REMOVAL
During the next couple of weeks the
electricity cables that cut across the western
end of the arboretum will be removed,
greatly improving the views across to the
sandbanks and avoiding damage to the
collection. With the UK Champion of the
extremely rare Abies hickelii, and many
other interesting specimens growing below
the lines we couldn’t risk having them
lopped indiscriminately by a line
New cables have already been buried
underground along our boundary, where
Preparations are in full swing for the fifth
Wild About Wood festival, our largest annual
fundraising event. Entry for members is, as
always, complimentary so we hope you’ll be
able to join us over the weekend.
We’re also putting the finishing touches to a
varied programme of events and activities
that will run through the autumn, giving the
opportunity to learn more about the
arboretum, its plants and wildlife, or maybe
a new skill. More details are overleaf and on
the arboretum’s website. I hope you’ll find
much of interest in this programme and look
forward to welcoming you on your next visit.
they should stay safely out of sight and mind
for many years. We’re extremely grateful to
Northern Power Grid for carrying out this
work free of charge, and doing it so carefully.
What’s On at a
As part of our policy to enhance the biodiversity of our grassy areas, and to
reduce the labour and cost of mowing, we significantly reduced the areas
mown this spring. The result has been the appearance of wildflowers in many
new areas. On the sandbanks harebells have been flowering beautifully,
although they’ve never previously been recorded here, and many orchids
appeared in unsuspected places too. Narrow pathways have enticed visitors
into different parts of the arboretum, encouraging exploration of its many corners. Now the
hay has been taken by the Fargher family: it will be used for winter feed for their Aberdeen
Angus cattle, whose meat is available from the Castle Howard Farm Shop.
Prunings from the
The next phase of the Buglife sponsored wildflower project is
underway. We have sprayed areas of grassland to remove the coarse
grasses, and will soon scarify it and sow it with a flower-rich seed
mixture. Parts of the arboretum will look a bit piebald for a while,
but will soon green-up, and be much more attractive in the future.
Yorkshire Arboretum Members’ Newsletter
BULB PLANTING - HELP NEEDED!
We have again ordered a large number of
bulbs to beautify the arboretum in spring,
and are looking for help to get them planted.
Last year a large number of volunteers had a
lot of fun helping us plant 35,000 bulbs in
only four days – can we beat that record this
year? The resulting display of flowers really
looked lovely this spring.
comfortable with, and whatever clothing you
like gardening in. Please let the Volunteer
Coordinators know if you can help on
Bulb planting days are scheduled for 24th,
25th & 26th September and the 16th & 17th
October. Could you join us and plant a few –
or many - on any of those days? You’d need
to bring a trowel or spade you’re
AND BULBS FOR SALE
We are offering members the opportunity to
add some of these bulbs to their own
gardens. We buy the highest grade of bulbs
direct from Holland, giving the best chance
of success when planted in the garden.
Camassia leichtlinii ‘Caerulea’
This is the lovely deep blue camassia
used so spectacularly in the
arboretum. A great feature in the
border or naturalised in grass.
Flowers in May & June. 10 for £5
Iris latifolia ‘King of the Blues’
This gorgeous iris produces large
velvety blue-purple flowers in June
or early July and looks magnificent
among grass: it was a great addition
to the arboretum last year. 5 for £3
Crocus ‘Ruby Giant’
One of the brightest & best of the
smaller crocuses. The variety used for
our 2010 world record-beating
planting in the arboretum. 30 for £3
Purple & white fritillaries for
naturalising or planting among other
spring flowers: will seed around
once established. April. 20 for £3.50
Narcissus poeticus ‘Recurvus’
The elegant, sweetly-scented
‘Pheasant’s-eye’ daffodil, flowering in
May. Lovely when planted in grass
and great for cutting. 10 for £4.50
Please pre-order at the Visitor Centre (email
email@example.com or call 01653
648598) for collection in mid-September.
YORKSHIRE ARBORETUM SHOP
We will shortly be opening a small retail
area in the Visitor Centre, selling a range of
merchandise to encourage visitors of all
ages to engage with and learn about the
natural world, and to raise additional funds
for the arboretum.
The range will evolve over time, and vary
with the seasons.
We look forward to your feedback on this
NEWS FROM RAY WOOD
The effort put in by staff and volunteers
over the past three years to reclaim Ray
Wood and its collection has paid off with a
fabulous, and continuing, display of
rhododendrons this spring and summer, but
the green-ness of the woodland garden is
lovely even without flowers. If you’d like to
help maintain Ray Wood, volunteers for the
Tuesday team are being sought.
Sadly two big Nothofagus have died and had
to be felled, but their logs will be used by
the chainsaw carvers at Wild About Wood.
Harry Kingman has again very kindly created a range of Christmas Cards and a 2014
calendar, all featuring views of the Yorkshire Arboretum. These are now on sale in the
Visitor Centre with all proceeds going directly to support the arboretum.
August 2013 Page 3
WILD ABOUT WOOD FESTIVAL - 14TH/15TH SEPTEMBER - 10AM - 5PM
All our visitors’ favourite demonstrations and
activities return for this, our 5th Wild About Wood
Festival, and we’ve added lumberjack displays,
laser clay pigeon shooting, and garden furniture
made from reclaimed whisky barrels amongst
Families can enjoy several new activities in the
Discovery Zone too, including Bug & Bee Hotel
Making, Natural Music, and Pond-dipping and
Minibeast Hunts for pre-school children.
Flyers and posters advertising the event are
available from the Visitor Centre and your help in
promoting the festival in your village, workplace,
car, church etc would be enormously appreciated.
Entry for members is, as always, complementary,
so we look forward to seeing you there! Full
details at www.wildaboutwood.org
As our biggest fundraising event of the year, Wild
About Wood’s success depends on the 100+
volunteers who give so generously of their time to
make sure that every visitor has a great time. If
you’d like to help, please contact the Volunteer
WHAT S ON AT A GLANCE
On the first Wednesday of each
month, join a member of the staff
team for a cup of coffee, an
informal presentation and
perhaps a short walk into the arboretum to see
what projects they're working on.
We meet in the Arboretum Café and
presentations start at 11.30 so buy your coffee in
Coffee morning hosts for the autumn are:
Wednesday 4th September: John Grimshaw
Wednesday 2nd October: Neil Batty
Wednesday 6th November: Nicola Hall
Sun 1st Sept 10am & 2pm Bushcraft: A Beginners' Guide
Weds 4th Sept 11.30am Members' Coffee Morning: John Grimshaw
14th/15th Sept 10am – 5pm Wild About Wood Festival
Thurs 19th Sept 1 hour slots
Thurs 19th Sept 7.30pm
An Introduction to Woodturning
History & Collections of Arboretum Wespelaar:
Dr Koen Camelbeke
Sun 29th Sept 10am & 2pm Bushcraft: A Beginners' Guide
Weds 2 nd Oct 11.30am Members' Coffee Morning: Neil Batty
Sat 12th Oct 4pm – 6pm Fungus Foray led by Malcolm Greaves
Thurs 10 th Oct
Woody Plant Propagation:
Fri 18th Oct 1pm – 7pm Capture Autumn's Colours – Watercolour Class
Sun 27th Oct
Tues 29th Oct
10.30am & 2pm Members' Tour of Ray Wood
10.30am & 2pm Members' Tour of Ray Wood
Thurs 31st Oct 2pm – 4pm Fungus Foray led by Malcolm Greaves
Weds 6 th Nov 11.30am Members' Coffee Morning: Nicola Hall
Thurs 14 th Nov
Finding David Douglas:
Dr Gordon Mason
Thurs 26th Dec 10.30am-3pm Winter Welly Walks
Weds 1st Jan 10.30am-3pm Winter Welly Walks
More details for all
events can be found on
the website and in the
Updates will be sent by
email, or please check
the What’s On board in
the Visitor Centre on
your next visit.
HORTICULTURAL LECTURE SERIES
Our series of horticultural lectures recommences
in September, starting at 7.30pm in the Visitor
Centre. Please book at the Visitor Centre - £3.50
per talk. More information is on the website.
19th September: Dr Koen Camelbeke presents on
the history and collections of Foundation
(FAW), Belgium, of
which he is Director.
FAW is one of our most
and Koen will also be
spending a couple of
days with us to see how we use their grants. (NB
this talk is a week later than usual, to avoid Wild About Wood)
10th October: Barry Clarke, a horticulturalist &
botanist from the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in
Hampshire, will talk about woody plant
propagation – a subject of great importance in an
arboretum – including a practical demonstration.
14th November: Dr Gordon Mason, a botanist
from Sheffield, will present his film Finding David
Douglas, about the intrepid plant hunter whose
adventures in western North America brought so
many plants into cultivation.
Brochure design: www.marketingbyignite.com
August 2013 Page 4
SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS: THE DIRECTOR S PERSPECTIVE
The long warm and mostly dry summer has been
good not only for trees but also for insects, and
from a dearth of butterflies and bees in the past
few cool years we have seen a resurgence in
numbers and diversity.
Last week the scent of a
lime-tree was wafting about
on the breeze and I tracked
it down to the grove of
weeping silver limes, Tilia
growing just beyond Main
Vista. It’s known as one of
the most fragrant of lime-trees and the delicious
scent had attracted not only me but a myriad of
insects of all kinds that was wonderful to see.
Peacock butterflies have
been particularly abundant
recently, taking advantage
of all sorts of flowers, from
water mint by the lake to
thistles and the lime-trees.
The ground has remained
moist enough through the hot weather to enable
the trees to put on excellent growth: I find it a real
pleasure to see new shoots elongating. In many
trees, especially oaks, new growth is red-tinted,
and it is thought that this helps to reduce insect
attacks while the shoot is soft and vulnerable.
From our perspective, however, it can be a very
ornamental feature, and one worth looking out
for as you walk through the arboretum.
We have 170 enthusiastic volunteers who
together have now given over 4,000 hours of their
time since the start of the 2013 season to support
the work of the arboretum.
Their continued efforts to
welcome visitors, keep the
grounds looking attractive
and well cared for, engage
visiting school groups and
generally support the staff
team are much appreciated.
We are always looking to increase our volunteer
team and have produced a recruitment poster for
display in local villages and libraries. If you could
display a poster, or have other ideas to help reach
more potential volunteers, please get in touch at
We’re particularly keen to add to our Visitor
Services team. If you, or someone you know,
might like to be part of the welcoming face of the
arboretum, please have a look at the role
description on the Volunteering page of the web
site or just get in touch.
We hope this
helps you gain
the most from
PRUNINGS FROM THE ARBORETUM
Iain Parkinson, Conservation and Woodlands
Manager from Wakehurst Place visited in July said
how healthy our trees look, which in general they
do – long may they remain so!
Did you know that the arboretum starred in the
cinematic trailer for, and live action sequences in,
this year’s summer production of The Legend of
King Arthur at York Theatre Royal? Enjoy some
familiar sights at www.youtube.com/watch?
Volunteers and staff were recently trained on the
safe use of strimmers and the chipper, enabling us
to get more done as we tidy up the arboretum.
A boy on a school visit pulled up a large Swan
Mussel from the lake bed while pond-dipping:
small specimens had been seen before but this
was 15 cm long!
We’re all familiar with James Morris’ sculpture of
an osprey in the lake, but Alastair Fitter, our Chair
of Trustees, was lucky enough to see a migrating
osprey fly overhead, when visiting in late August.
p: 01653 648598
The Yorkshire Arboretum is indebted to the many talented photographers whose work illustrates these pages. These include, amongst others, Harry & Joyce Kingman,
John Grimshaw, Ron Cooke and Roy Howell. All photos & illustrations remain © of their respective copyright owners and are used with permission.