This is the initial proposal for the arboretum. It will be revised in light of feedback we receive from the Kippford groups and advice we receive from the various plant and landscaping experts we consult.

These are the current assumptions:

  • The specimen trees should be sited in the proximity of the 1.8m path which is the path designed to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
  • The theme of the arboretum is “The Valley of Birch”. However, to show them at their best, birch trees need to be framed by an appropriate backdrop of contrasting trees and shrubs.
  • Generally, groups of trees (say, 3, 5, or more) are more impactful than single specimens.
  • People will have the opportunity to sponsor a commemorative tree within the arboretum, with small plaques being provided by the Association. Six benches are to be sited along the path. These too could be sponsored.
  • The power lines crossing the field restrict the areas that can be planted with trees. Consequently, specimen trees must be restricted to two main areas – the area between the entrance gate and the first ditch (area 1) and the area between the first ditch and the power lines (area 2). The area in the vicinity of the power lines (area 3) can accommodate a variety of shrubs.
  • Areas for specimen trees should have weed suppressing mulch mat and chipped bark to best display the trees and to minimise ongoing maintenance. Other “supporting” trees and shrubs will not be mulched.
  • The size of trees to be planted, and the form of staking and deer protection to be used has still to be determined. Expert advice is being sought.

The choice of trees and shrubs to be planted is affected by the following considerations:

  • Tree/shrub types suited to this coastal location
  • Tree/shrub types suited to a relatively exposed site
  • Tree/shrub types less likely to be damaged by deer
  • Tree/shrub types beneficial to wildlife and habitat
  • Soil type and dampness (this varies across the site)

The following birch trees are thought to be suitable for this location:

Betula pendula, b.pubescens, b.ermanii, b.papyrifera, b.utilis jacquemontii doorenbos, b.pendula youngii, b.ermanii grayswood hill, b.ermanii mount zao purple, b.alosinensis septentrionalis, etc.

The following trees and shrubs might be suitable as backdrops or as specimens in their own right:

Hollies (various), sorbus (various), fagus atropurpurea, viburnam opulus, cotoneaster franchetii, pieris, sambucus, acer princetown gold, buddleia.

The purchase of the trees is likely to be the biggest cost element and is affected by the size of specimen tree we go for. Tree staking, deer fencing and mulching will also be significant costs to be budgeted for. We have not yet determined if we can do the planting ourselves or if we should involve contractors to do the work.

Ongoing maintenance costs are mainly associated with replacing trees that die (only required in the first year or so) and strimming around the plants that have not been mulched. Costs of strimming the edges of the paths will also be confirmed.

Arboretum plating and path plan

Arboretum plating and path plan

Full plant of the Nature Reserve, Arboretum top left area

Full plant of the Nature Reserve, Arboretum top left area