After the last ice age 10,000 years ago, forests covered this area. About 7,000 years ago the climate changed and got wetter so peat began to form. In some places, the preserved remains of trees can still be found under the peat.
The wild cherry here could be the oldest of its kind and it’s a monstrous specimen. It’s currently trying to ‘layer,’ and if it’s lowest branch makes contact with the ground, then the tree could grow for several more centuries.
Planted to mark the bicentenary of the United States in 1976 at the ancestral home of George Washington, the coastal redwood has soft spongy bark and branches that hang low forming a natural den. In America it’s known as the ‘punching tree’ as thanks to its soft, fibrous bark you can punch it hard and still feel no pain!
The golden pippin apple tree in the orchard, better known as the wishing tree, is covered in hundreds of colourful ribbons. Thought to have magical, spiritual or healing powers, lots of people return year after year to add another ribbon.
At nearly 300 years old the hall’s spectacular weeping ash was around in the time of the Delaval family. Now in its dotage, its limbs have had to be propped up, but in autumn its leaves turn a stunning gold.