Cambridgeshire National Trust garden to be redesigned over extreme weather caused by climate change

Credit: National Trust

Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire climate change
The parterre at Wimpole Hall, near Cambridge. Credit: National Trust

A National Trust estate garden will be redesigned to make it more resilient as climate change increases extreme weather conditions.

The 1.3-acre parterre at Wimpole in Cambridgeshire has been put under stress from climate change-fuelled damaging weather like cold winds and drought.

The National Trust said the triangular beds of bedding plants and bulbs were also increasingly unsustainable in their need for irrigation and regular replacement of plants.

The conservation charity said it had appointed a landscape architect team to make the parterre a more sustainable, climate-resilient and biodiverse planting scheme.

The parterre was "getting harder to maintain", the National Trust said. Credit: National Trust

Tom Fradd, head gardener at Wimpole Estate, said: “Wimpole is recognised for its leading climate change initiatives and sustainable estate management projects.

“We now need to create a garden that can withstand significant temperature changes, where there’s less need for watering and replacing plants and, therefore, a lower carbon footprint.

“The newly designed parterre will also be less susceptible to pests and disease, improve the condition of the soil and reduce the stress from the extreme weather conditions that are becoming more prevalent in East Anglia with the changing climate.

“Along with reinforcing the garden’s sustainability, we also hope the new parterre design will be more biodiverse than the current scheme.”

The first parterre at Wimpole dates back to the 17th century, but it was swept away with a change of fashion in the 18th century.

It was then partly brought back in the 19th century before being lost again.

A scheme was created in the 1990s to replicate the 19th century parterre, but the National Trust said it was getting harder to maintain, so it was time for a "bold, pioneering new chapter."

Work on re-developing the parterre is expected to continue over the next two years.

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