Monday, 22 November 2021

Batsford Arboretum

After the thrills and spills of a day at the races a more sedate day is planned. 

Close to Moreton in Marsh (I always thought it was Moreton In the Marsh, but apparently not so).  we have Batsford Arboretum. It is owned and run by the Batsford Foundation, a registered charity and open most days of the year.  The arboretum sits on the Cotswold scarp and contains around 2,900 trees, with a large collection of Japanese maples, magnolias and pines. It maintains the national collection of Prunus (Japanese Flowering Cherry).

We follow the main path initially past the Victorian water feature. The stream runs down for a distance of 600metres from high on the escarpment.

It is close to the 'hermit's cave. The cave and watercourse were created in 1896 for Algernon Freeman Mitford. (1st Earl of Redesdale)Being a 'Folly' lover I am looking forward to seeing the cave.

The sun is trying to come out but it is very hazy with low cloud cover. The glimpses that we do get enhance the natural colours of the trees. We are visiting at a good time of the year even though it is late Autumn . Sill plenty of leaves and colour to be seen. 

Autumn brings with it a riot of leaf colour ranging from deep butter yellow through to orange reds and crimsons as well as an abundance of berries.  It’s a natural fireworks spectacular throughout the autumn months.

I think that this particular blog entry is going to be more photos than words compared to others!









The beautiful church of St Mary’s, a Grade II listed Anglo-Norman style building.  There has been a church in Batsford village since the medieval times, the present building is the third to be built on the site.

Looming through the trees is Batsford House, now privately owned. It was built between 1889 and 1892 in the Cotswold Elizabethan style.

We continue up hill past 'The Swamp' towards the 'Ice House'. 

Batsford is well worth a visit for as well as a handsome collection of Redwood trees there is a fine variety of other trees. The Autumn colour information board (pictured left) explains exactly why and how leaves change colour. 

 It is all to do with a process called 'Photosynthesis', feel free to go and research more about that at your leisure. I've got a 'hermit's cave to find' ! 

On the way not only do I discover a Japanese Garden but also a 'Buddha' as well. There really is something to see around every corner it seems. It's pretty easy walking , a few gradients but nothing too strenuous. 

At last the 'hermit's cave' just what I was looking for. Hermit's caves were very popular in British gardens during the Georgian period, particularly on estates of wealthy land owners.

Some landowners even employed a local person to act the role of a hermit. 

They would live on site and be fed and cared for. The origins of this unusual custom date back to the Roman Empire. 



It can be a tiring Old business this tree watching, I'm quite happy to take advantage of this nice bench. Not for long though, next stop is a view point!

Sadly with the mist and cloud it isn't the best of views today. I can just about make out the valley behind the trees. Talking of trees, they are very important for the environment, which is a huge topic at the moment. 

  • They produce oxygen
  • Remove carbon dioxide from the air
  • Reduce the risk of flooding
  • Provide medicines and cures
  • Produce food
  • Prevent soil erosion


















Nice to end this write up with some of the fantastic colours. It would be lovely to return in the early Spring with the Hellebores still flowering, Daffodils and Mahonia in bloom. The Magnolias  and the Cherries would be out too. 

As we return to the main entrance we pass a feeding point for the birds. In the few minutes we watch we see a Nuthatch, Coal Tit and Great Spotted Woodpecker, as well as Blue Tits, Great Tits and a Robin.

It has been a really enjoyable visit and a great way to spend a few hours for very little money.

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Batsford Arboretum

After the thrills and spills of a day at the races a more sedate day is planned.  Close to Moreton in Marsh (I always thought it was Moreto...