View of boats on Windermere from Lake District Visitor Centre copyright Charlie Hedley

Brockhole's tree management programme

As part of the redevelopment programme for Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre, we intend to restore the historic integrity of the Grade II registered gardens. These were designed by Thomas Mawson, one of the most celebrated landscape architects of the Edwardian era.

To do this we need to implement a tree management programme for trees planted in inappropriate places or which are out of scale.

What's included in the tree management programme?

  • The felling of 14 trees including the monkey puzzle tree
  • Moving 18 trees
  • Planting between 60 to 90 additional trees, including a new monkey puzzle tree on the approach to Brockhole house.

The felling of the monkey puzzle tree

The decision to fell trees is never taken lightly. We recognise the cost in losing the individual amenity value of the tree, and that such a decision would not be popular with everyone. But we also see immediate and long term amenity benefits in opening up the magnificent views between the lake and the house and restoring the scale of planting in this exceptional landscaped garden.

Arguments to keep the monkey puzzle tree

  • the tree is healthy with many decades of life ahead of it
  • it is the focus of photos, discussion and admiration by many visitors
  • its story adds to the history of the site and the relationship and differing views of the Gaddums, who owned the site, and their landscape gardener, Thomas Mawson.

Arguments to remove the monkey puzzle tree

  • its presence was inconsistent with Mawson's apparent intention for the garden design
  • its scale is now at odds with Mawson's vision of a domestic scale for the gardens near the house
  • it interrupts one of the primary views between the house and the lake, which were central to Mawson's design

Decision process

21 March 2012 - Members agree to the felling of the monkey puzzle tree as part of a tree management programme after weighing the arguments for and against.

Experts involved in giving evidence

  • English Heritage
  • Our Trees and Woodlands Adviser
  • Our Head of Environment and Heritage
  • Cumbria Gardens Trust

Latest update: 5 November 2012

Specialist contractors have begun work to fell the monkey puzzle tree. In the future we will plant another monkey puzzle tree in a more appropriate location at Brockhole.

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