Batsford Arboretum

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Japanese bridge over rill at Batsford Arboretum

Batsford Arboretum is a 55-acre (220,000 m2) arboretum and botanical garden near Batsford in Gloucestershire, England, about 1½ miles north-west of Moreton-in-Marsh. It is owned and run by the Batsford Foundation, a registered charity,[1] and is open to the public daily throughout most of the year.

The arboretum sits on the Cotswold scarp and contains around 2,900 trees, with a large collection of Japanese maples, magnolias and pines. It maintains the national collection of Prunus (sato-sakura Group) — Japanese Flowering Cherry — under the NCCPG National Plant Collection scheme run by the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens.[2]

History[edit]

The estate of Batsford Park was inherited in 1886 by Algernon Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale. He had travelled widely in Asia and developed the garden as a "wild" landscape with natural plantings inspired by Chinese and Japanese practice.

He died in 1916 and was succeeded by David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, who was father of the famous Mitford sisters. They lived at Batsford during World War I, and Nancy Mitford based the early part of her novel Love in a Cold Climate on their time at Batsford. In 1919 the estate was sold to cover death duties to Gilbert Wills, 1st Baron Dulverton, an heir to the W.D. & H.O. Wills tobacco fortune. His wife Victoria further developed the garden and specimen tree plantings.

After neglect during World War II the arboretum was revived by (Frederick) Anthony Hamilton Wills, 2nd Baron Dulverton (1915–1992), who succeeded in 1956. He consolidated and expanded the collections and brought Batsford into international repute. To ensure the survival of the arboretum he donated Batsford Park to a charitable trust in 1984.

Apart from the arboretum, the remainder of the 5,000-acre (20 km2) historic Batsford Estate is privately owned by (Gilbert) Michael Hamilton Wills, 3rd Baron Dulverton (born 1944).[3]

Location[edit]

Batsford Arboretum is located at Ordnance Survey mapping six-figure grid reference SP 187339

See also[edit]

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Coordinates: 52°0′10″N 1°43′45″W / 52.00278°N 1.72917°W / 52.00278; -1.72917