Yorkshire Arboretum Newsletter - Issue 6 - August 2015




August 2015

Visitor Centre

Possible Early


Due to wedding ceremonies

taking place at the

arboretum, it is possible that

the café and Visitor Centre

may close early on the

following dates:

8th and 31st August

19th and 26th September

Please note that access to

the arboretum will not be

affected by wedding

ceremonies or any early

closure of the Centre



If we don’t already have

your email address on our

files please email us or

phone 01653 648598

In this issue:

From the Director 1

HRH The Prince of



News from the Café 2

Weddings 2

New Loos! 2

Bee Programme 3

Staff News 3

Event News 4

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to

take a helicopter ride over the arboretum

and surroundings, which gave a completely

new perspective on a familiar scene. Most

particularly it demonstrated the

extraordinary vision Jim Russell had when he

planned and then planted the site from 1979

– the interplay of glade and grove and the

varied textures and colours of the trees so

skilfully arranged.

To carry this vision through the next few

decades we have commissioned a

masterplan from landscape architect Harry

Watkins of Rootstock. This will guide us as

we continue to develop the arboretum with

new features and new plantings, making it

even more attractive as a place to visit, while

ensuring that its unique character is


Concurrently with this we are working on a

new Heritage Lottery Fund bid that focuses

on education, interpretation and

accessibility, promoting the Yorkshire

Arboretum’s rich heritage of trees and

biodiversity to a wider audience. This will be

submitted in early September and we’ll hear

if we’ve been lucky in November.

We already transmit our guiding

principles of inspiration, education

and conservation – however one

wishes to interpret them - through

our programme of events and

activities that run throughout the


If you haven’t taken part in

anything yet do have a look at our

What’s On booklet, or search the

website for something that might

appeal to you. Many are free, including our

Members' Coffee Mornings, with

refreshments from our cafe.

The programme of activities for children is

particularly extensive this summer, with the

arboretum offering plenty of things for kids

to do in a place that parents and

grandparents can also enjoy – with the

benefit of the café’s excellent refreshments


It’s not easy to keep such a large site looking

so good with limited resources, but I think

the arboretum has been looking its best ever

this spring and summer, thanks to the hard

work of our staff and volunteers.

The wildflowers have been amazing, with the

meadow mixtures sown in as part of the B-

Lines project funded by Buglife being now

well established and contributing masses of

colour and interest. These commodities are

also supplied by our now happily freeranging

peacocks and guineafowl which

bring a bustle of activity to many unexpected


John Grimshaw


Page 2


We were absolutely delighted to be advised by Clarence House that HRH The Prince of Wales has

chosen to renew his patronage of the arboretum. Prince Charles has been our patron since June 1998

and his ongoing support is valued enormously by the Trustees and staff.

Professor Alastair Fitter, Chair of the Board of Trustees said “The news that Prince Charles has

extended his patronage of the Trust for another 5 years is extremely welcome. His Royal Highness’

passion for the environment, conservation and horticulture is well-known and fits extremely well with

the work we do here.”


The last few months have been busy ones, with our new Café Manager Emma and new team

members Harriet, Dianne, Deborah and Sharrona getting settled in. You may also notice some

new arrivals on the terrace - our ‘new’ furniture, bought at bargain price in an online auction!

We’ve increased our focus on using great quality ingredients and products from local

suppliers including coffee from York Coffee Emporium and flour for our cakes from Yorkshire

Organic Millers who mill only Yorkshire-grown wheat.

Alongside perennial favourites such as our famous cheese scones, we’re developing new

cakes (triple layer carrot cake with orange cream cheese frosting anyone?) soups (e.g. roast

mushroom, garlic, and thyme) salads and savoury tarts (roast leek, bacon and cheddar is scrummy - ed).

We’ve catered for several parties and events, which is always a fun challenge (do get in touch if you’d like to hold your next

event or party here) and we’re planning to soon offer a selection of whole cakes and desserts to take away so you can enjoy the

best arboretum baking at home. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming you on your next visit!


We’ve been delighted to host 5 happy couples’ weddings in the Cruck House so far this year and look

forward to 5 more in the next 3 months (dates on p1).

Anna Porter, Marketing Manager, who looks after our wedding couples, said “Weddings are such joyous

occasions. It’s a pleasure to host them in the arboretum’s glorious surroundings. The team works hard to

minimise any disruption to our members and visitors, and the income is a valued addition to Trust funds.”


Our Education Team receives consistently good feedback on its activities for visiting

school groups but consistently negative feedback on the shortage of loos! Marshalling

60-80 children through the Visitor Centre’s loos can be frustrating for them and other

users. When we received an enquiry for a visit by a whole school of 170 children we

knew we had to make alternative provision, or turn them away.

The answer was to build a set of composting loos and lots of research was undertaken

to find out the best system. A generous private donation was matched by a grant from

the sustainable development fund of the Howardian Hills AONB, enabling us to erect a

block of three cubicles. Nearby, discretely screened by a dead hedge, is a male urinal.

Situated near the outdoor classroom and woodland playground they’re available for

anyone to use when there’s no school group in the vicinity.

August 2015 Page 3


On a perfect June evening the arboretum played host to the Malton and District Bee

Keepers’ Association who came along to check on the progress of our apiary.

The bees arrived at the arboretum last year when apiarist Jason Learner from the National

Bee Unit at Sand Hutton brought along several of his hives which we sited in an enclosure

around the old hornbeam.

As most people today are aware, bee populations in the UK are in decline due to modern

farming methods and loss of habitat. The arboretum is happy to be playing its part in

supporting these vital insects by hosting colonies that not only pollinate the trees and

wildflowers but also produce delicious honey - why not buy a jar next time you are in the Arboretum Shop ?

We were delighted when, towards the end of May,

our swans hatched out six cygnets, which (so far) have

successfully been brought up on and around our two

lakes. Barn Owls have also been nesting nearby and

the parents are often seen hunting for rodents over

the arboretum.


Maurag Carmichael, Trust Administrator, stepped down in May

after playing a very important role in the history of the arboretum

for many years. Her experience and expertise will be much missed.

Trustees, colleagues and friends joined Maurag for a splendid tea

to thank her for her many years of service and to wish her well for

the future. She has become an Honorary Life Member, and we

would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who

contributed to her leaving gift – a generous acknowledgement of

how much she was appreciated.

Mathew Harrison has joined the team as Trust Administrator. He brings with

him a wealth of IT, training and office management experience and will

continue his own software consultancy alongside his arboretum role. Mathew is

based in the Portakabin, usually working on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays,

providing administrative support to the trustees, staff and members. He lives

with his family in Coneysthorpe and is a keen photographer.

We’re sorry to say goodbye to Sam Forrest

who’s been our Visitor Services Coordinator for the past 18

months. Sam’s leaving to focus on his writing career but we hope

he’ll visit often to say hello. Steve Holtsbaum and his wife have

returned to Australia and we wish them well. Amber Yorke and

Richard Murphy have joined the team to take on shared

responsibility for the Visitor Services role. Do pop in to say hello

to them on your next visit.

Our database,


contains the

records of all

trees in the


and Ray Wood

is now

available for




anyone to find

out which

trees we

grow. Have a

look at http://




Brochure design: www.marketingbyignite.com

August 2015 Page 4


Copies of the 2015 What’s On and Children’s

Activities brochures, showing all events taking

place this season, are available from the Visitor

Centre. Summer highlights include:


10am – 3pm £15 per child

(includes lunch). Booking

essential please.

Intrepid explorers aged 6-11

can spend a day discovering

the arboretum & taking part in

lots of nature-based activities.

No adults allowed! Activities


Monday 10th August - making a story stick, meet

a tree, colour collection, design a tree and poetry

Monday 24th August - orienteering, shelterbuilding,

owl pellet dissection and certificate


Weds 5th August Pond-dipping/minibeast hunt

Weds 12th August Minibeast hunt/outdoor music

Weds 19th August Pond-dipping/shelter-building

Weds 26th August Minibeast hunt/orienteering


Sunday 23rd August 11am - 12.30pm

Enjoy a walk with a hawk following on above and

flying to your fist, then meet fascinating falcons

and owls. Interact with some amazing predators!

£40 per person


Saturday 29th August

7.30 - 10pm

Celebrate the creatures of

the night with a bat-walk and

a moth-trapping event on an

after-hours arboretum walk .

Adult £10, Child £5, Family


We hope this

newsletter is


informative &

helps you gain the

most from your

membership of

the Yorkshire


Please send your


together with

your photos,

stories &

suggestions for

topics you’d like

to see covered in

the next issue to:




Half past the hour from

10.30am - 1.30pm £3.50

per child. Booking not

required - just drop in

and join in.

Children aged 4-11 can

discover the natural

world during these hourlong



Saturday 5th September 7.30 - 10.30pm

Explore the wonders of the night sky, including

star clusters, nebulae & galaxies. Soup &

sandwich supper included. Adult £12, Child £7.50,

Family £35

And don’t forget our FREE weekly tours run

by volunteer guides - 1.30pm every

Thursday, April to October!


We’re planning an excursion tour in October. Our provisional itinerary is:

Wednesday 14th October

8am - Depart the arboretum

Afternoon - Dawyck Botanic Garden, Peebleshire

Overnight - Edinburgh

Thursday 15th October

Morning - Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Afternoon - Edinburgh at leisure

Overnight - Edinburgh

Friday 16th October

Morning - Howick Hall Gardens, Northumberland

Afternoon - Return to the arboretum

Full details to follow and dependent on numbers. Expressions of interest at this

stage to visit@yorkshirearboretum.org or on 01653 648598 by

Friday 4th September please.



If you’d like to

help us care for

and develop the


perhaps you’d like

to join our

volunteer team?

We’re currently

looking for lovely

folk to help with

everything from

administration to

research and from

weeding to

weddings! Please

look at the roles

available on the

website or

contact volunteer@


Castle Howard


YO60 7BY

p: 01653 648598

e: members@yorkshirearboretum.org

w: www.yorkshirearboretum.org

The Yorkshire Arboretum is indebted to the many talented photographers whose work illustrates these pages.

All photos & illustrations remain © of their respective copyright owners & are used with permission.

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