Stately home near Kettering to restore avenue of trees

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One of England’s finest avenues of trees – the Broad Walk Lime Tree Avenue at Boughton House – is about to be restored.

The historic avenue, which lies to the west of the House and Broad Water Lake, was originally planted in about 1705 with a combination of English elm and ‘Hatfield Tall’ lime trees.

Hatfield Tall limes are a distinct type of lime tree commonly used in 17th and 18th century planned gardens.

Many of the elms were lost in the 1920s and 1970s during outbreaks of Dutch elm disease, while only one original lime tree remains.

Now, working in conjunction with Natural England, the estate plans to replant the avenue with Hatfield Tall limes.

Estate manager Rachael Gladstone-Brown said: “At present, the avenue comprises two original elm trees and one lime, while the rest are hybrid poplars and small-leaf lime trees planted in the 1960s and 70s.

“Our first step will be to remove around two dozen poplars in the next few weeks and take out their stumps in readiness for planting with Hatfield Tall limes next year.

“We plan to retain the existing small-leaved limes for a few years to reduce any visual impact, before they too are replaced with original limes.”