News

February 2024 – hedge laying underway

Our laid holly hedge (photo by Peter Forster)
Photo by Peter Forster

Duncan and Dave, two of our volunteers, have been carrying out the ancient art of hedgelaying on this holly hedge. Hedge laying might look brutal, as the trunk of the tree is severed what looks like almost all the way through. The upper part of the trunk is then bent over and supported making a strong horizontal barrier. This helps provide shelter for wildlife and reinforces the line of the hedge. It doesn’t hurt the trees at all, and they’ll come back as healthy as ever.

October 2023 – the lake is officially open

TGS members attend the official opening of the lake (photo by John Harradine)
Martin Brown from Veolia performs the opening ceremony (photo by John Harradine)
Photo by John Harradine

We had an official opening for our lake project on 24 October. TGS members and those who had supported the project gathered to see the results of all our hard work – followed, of course, by tea and cake! The ceremony was performed by Martin Brown of the Veolia Environmental Trust, who granted the funds that enabled the project to take place. We hope the lake will be a source of enjoyment to visitors for years to come.

September 2023 – Arboretum features in MIND video

We saw during the pandemic how important the Arboretum was to people as a place of peace and sanctuary. That’s why we were delighted to be approached by mental health charity MIND, who asked if they could film one of their case studies here. We were delighted to oblige – here’s the lovely, uplifting result.

September 2023 – update on the lake project

Our lake project is really coming together, with thanks to The Veolia Environmental Trust. Yesterday we installed our new information board, detailing the history and proposed future of the site. Here volunteers John (middle) and Peter help assistant curator Julie put the finishing touches to the board, which we think you’ll agree looks extremely smart!

September 2023 – the swamp cypress

The swamp cypress at the end of the lake. Photo (c) Sally Geake
The swamp cypress at the end of the lake. Photo (c) Sally Geake

The tree at the far end of the newly restored lake is a Swamp Cypress (Taxodium distichum). Originally it was in the lake on a small island, but it was not possible to accommodate it with the new lining process. Now it can be seen adjacent to the lakeside, and we can see the pneumatophores at the base of the trunk. These ‘knees’ are part of the root system which both act to anchor the tree and aid oxygenation.

April 2023 – hazel coppicing

A newly coppiced tree stump. Keep checking these for signs of new growth! Photo (c) Peter Forster

Tree coppicing is an ancient technique, dating to the Stone Age, for managing woodland. On a regular basis, the tree is cut down to a ‘stool’ and then new shoots grow from this. In effect the tree is rejuvenated and suffers no harm. The cut shoots can then be used for weaving, fence making or firewood. 

The experiment with laying the branches down to root (it is not a tree octopus!) Photo (c) Peter Forster

Hazels respond well to this management and regular visitors to the arboretum will have noticed that work to manage hazel area has started and several trees coppiced. The area has grown a little out of hand and the intention is to coppice the trees on a six year cycle so that the stumps remain manageable. Other techniques are being tested, e.g. several branches have been pegged down so that they can root and, in time, cut from the parent plant thus making a new tree. 

April 2023 – the lake project is underway

Work on our lake is underway. It started on 27 March and will last around three weeks, restoring this much-loved feature of the Arboretum. Funding was thanks to The Veolia Environmental Trust. We hope the new lake will be a sanctuary for wildlife and an asset to the local community. To follow the project, visit our Facebook page.

January 2023 – slight footpath amendment to preserve veteran trees

Regular visitors know that our 300-year-old veteran oaks are a landmark of the Arboretum. Today, our volunteers have erected a post and rope fence around them as the ground was getting compact due to the foot traffic over the roots. This was leading to poor drainage and aeration in the root zone, so we’ve done some minor re routing of footpaths to ensure continued access. Hopefully they’ll still be with us in another 300 years!

December 2022 – Lake to be fully restored thanks to grant

We have some very exciting news! Thanks to Veolia Environmental Trust, we’ve secured funding for the full restoration of our lake. This beautiful feature will now be returned to its full glory, making it a haven for wildlife and aquatic plants. Thank you so much to all our visitors who helped with comments of support and donations, we’re so grateful to our community. Work will commence in 2023. (Photo shows the lake in the 1960s).

November 2022 – Charity bog snorkelling raises funds for lake

l to r David Skidmore (LQA), Steve Nixon and Elaine Alexander (CBVP)
Steve Nixon in the lake at the LQA

Intrepid snorkeller Steve Nixon has been raising money for charity in a very unusual way, donning his flippers and snorkel to compete for the first time in the annual 2022 Bog Snorkelling Championships in Llanwrtyd Wells in August.

The event, which is now in its 35th year, literally involves snorkelling in a bog. Competitors are only allowed to swim ‘soggy paddle’, no breaststroke or front crawl, and have to complete two lengths of the bog or 110m, touching a turn post to show they’ve swum the required distance.  

Steve, who is an experienced coppicer and volunteers part time here at the Arboretum helping to manage the trees, donated £100 to help restore the on-site lake. He donated the remaining £100 to the Cheshire Badger Vaccination Programme (CBVP), which vaccinates the local badger population against TB to help local farmers and offer an alternative to badger removal.

October 2022 – Great Big Green Week

Lower Withington WI

Members of Lower Withington WI volunteered at the Arboretum on Saturday 1st October as part of Great Big Green Week, an initiative run by the Climate Coalition. Volunteers spent the morning cleaning tree labels and weeding, which was very much appreciated!

April 2022 – LQA chosen as filming location

The Lovell Quinta Arboretum is best known locally as a place of tranquil walks and internationally for its collection of rare and unusual shrubs and trees. Now, though, it’s appearing to a whole new audience as one of the locations chosen for new SKY drama The Rising.

Along with Tatton Park, the Capethorne Estate and the interior of Swettenham church, the Arboretum features in the new eight-part crime thriller which tells the story of Neve Kelly, who discovers she is dead. She realises she has been murdered and is determined to find her killer and get justice. Clara Rugaard who plays Neve and supporting actress Nenda Neururer were involved in the filming, which took place in the Arboretum in August 2021. The scenes, shot in the Reith Avenue, featured a meeting between the two characters and will be shown in one of the later episodes. The series is available now on SKY.

April 2022 – Official opening of Jubilee Malus Avenue

Regular visitors may have noticed our new feature – an avenue of Malus trees, planted to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the 60th anniversary of the Tatton Garden Society, the Arboretum’s owner. The avenue was officially opened by Lord Lieutenant Lady Alexis Redmond (above) on 21 April.

September 2021 – our Silent Space is open

Step into our Silent Space

We’ve joined the Silent Space project, designed to help people step away from the stress of the modern world and relax in quiet contemplation of nature. Find our Silent Space by turning left out of the main gate. You can find out more at the Silent Space website.

September 2021 – we’re in the October issue of Homes & Antiques

We’re back in the news as part of a lovely feature on arboreta in October’s Homes & Antiques magazine.

July 2021 – lake scheduled for renovation in 2022

Recent visitors may have noticed our lake looking a less than its best as water has been leaking through the lining. It is scheduled for renovation in 2022 and we hope it will be restored to its former glory as a focal point for the arboretum and a haven for wildlife.

May 2021 – we’re in the Knutsford Guardian

We recently helped Cheshire East tree officers plant trees to commemorate a much-missed colleague. You can read the full story here.

April 2021 – Oak collection awarded national status

Our collection of oaks has been awarded the status of a National Collection. The newly-accredited collection is one of only three oak National Plant Collections recognised by Plant Heritage, the charitable organisation which works to conserve the UK’s horticulture heritage. It’s also the only one in the north – the others being in Hampshire and Devon.

Most of the oaks at the Arboretum were planted by Sir Bernard Lovell, perhaps better known as the founder of Jodrell Bank Observatory. The collection has been named the ‘Sir Bernard Lovell Historic Collection’ in his honour.

March 2021 – Our very first promotional video is well underway

We’re excited to be starting our series of promotional videos and bringing the beauty of the Arboretum to a wider audience. More news on this soon.

October 2020 – we’re in Cheshire Life!

Our work with ArbNet resulted in a lovely article in both the magazine and online. You can read the full story here in Cheshire Life.

October 2020 – we’re in the Knutsford Guardian

A big thank you to the Knutsford Guardian for helping to spread the news of our ArbNet accreditation – you can read all about it here.

October 2020 – see us in the Congleton Chronicle

The Congleton Chronicle, our most local paper, recently helped us tell the world about our ArbNet accreditation.


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