Enjoying the park's all year round trees

Work starts on the arboretum planting
Work starts on the arboretum planting

A newly-planted aboretum at Leyland’s award-winning Worden Park will create a an attractive area for the public to enjoy.

Some 94 new trees have been planted as South Ribble Council - which runs the park - aims to create a visitor attraction

The arboretum dates back to the 18th century when it was originally planted by the owners of Shaw Hall.

The original hall has since been demolished and re-built, although the remains of this arboretum still exist today.

However, in the 1980s South Ribble Borough Council took the decision to convert the open fields of agricultural land into additional parkland and so they began planting a large arboretum with a number of separate glades - spring, summer, autumn and winter interest glades - with the addition of a conifer glade at the far end of the site.

All of these were planted in the 1980s and have grown on for nearly 40 years,

A number of plans were considered by South Ribble Council over the years to try and improve the arboretum.

The major drawback was that the trees that would have remained after the thinning works were not great specimens, and unfortunately they had gone far past redemption.

The decision was taken that only the good specimens would be left, which are mainly the conifers at the western end of the site.

This has seen the 80 new specimens introduced by Higher Walton-based landscape supply company Bannister Hall.

The specimens will not be divided into summer, spring, autumn, and winter glades, but feature together so that the arboretum has something to offer all year round.

The aim now is to reduce the eastern shelter belt and some of the failed specimens in what was the winter glade.

Another 30 specimens will be planted as well as some replacement conifers for the far end.

Once this is complete it will depend on how the specimens establish with regards to the next steps. In future the council will look to replace the former spring and summer glades with native species.

Some of the plants delivered included:

*Taxodium Distichum.

*Cornus Nuttellii.

*Picea Sitchensis.

*Qvercus Ilex.

*Acer Japonicum Vitifolium.

*Aesculus Indica.

The project has received positive feedback from regular park visitors.

Bannister Hall Director Alan Lovell said: “We are extremely pleased to have supplied the specimen trees for the Worden park arboretum project led by South Ribble Borough Council.

“The project will really give the general public a wonderful space to enjoy.

“I look forward to visiting the park and watching it mature as the years go on.

“This is something that people can enjoy for years to come and all of us at Bannister Hall Landscape Supplies are proud to have been part of it.”

Greg Clarke, South Ribble Borough Council tree officer, said: “We received three deliveries for the first phase of tree planting from Bannister Hall. They provided prices really quickly and were very supportive.

“They made themselves contactable if any questions or problems arose and the stock was in great shape when it arrived. Even with the harsh summer we’ve had the failure rate has been really low.”

The second phase of work is currently under way and due for completion by summer. Future work include the production of an information leaflet for the arboretum.