It has been a busy year for the restoration of the Cathedral. After further work on the drainage ditches, we turned out attention to improving the ground in the NAVE. When the Cathedral was laid in 1921 this area was planted with a mix of heaths to give the effect of a mosaic floor.
Over the years these became straggly and untidy and in the early 1970s were replaced by mown grass which, in the shady and boggy conditions gradually became overrun with moss and weeds. With the light and drainage now improved, we have introduced a more natural ‘mosaic’ with a mix of flowers and grasses. This not only provides colour and interest throughout the growing season but also encourages pollinators and generally enriches the local bio-diversity (a core aim of the Cathedral of Trees). Our first season of ‘re-wilding’ has brought many rewards and surprises as well as evidence of insects and other wildlife returning to the area. (Red squirrels were spotted the Autumn – but too quick for the camera!)
Work has also taken place in the CLOISTERS – now renamed the PEACE GARDEN. For many years this area sat in the shade of the surrounding woodlands and the ground became boggy and sour, adversely affecting the trees and hedges. Now that the surrounding conifers have been felled and the interior cleared of dead trees and other plants, new life and light has once more returned.
AUTUMN is the season for planting and it was an important moment when we planted eight young Irish yews in the Nave and restored the line of columns - always a signature feature of the Cathedral of Trees.
New trees have also been planted in the Peace Garden. This time - a circle of cut leaf alders, especially chosen for their delicate appearance and love of wet ground. There is more work to be done in this area but we hope that visitors will find a special tranquillity within this newly created space.