The Suffolk Archives statement on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its services is available to read here.

A is for Arboretum

Ipswich Arboretum, now part of Christchurch Park, was designed in 1851.  It contains roughly 1,000 trees.

David Miller lived in the Arboretum Lodge for 20 years when his father Tony was Head Gardener.  He has written about all sorts of things relating to the Arboretum, including the storm of October 1987.  He was 16 years old at the time and recounts listening in the early hours to the terrible cracking noises coming from the park and how he worried for his favourite trees – the Wellingtonia, the Deodar and the Monkey Puzzles – as well as that a tree may fall on their home.  When daylight came, the full scale of the destruction could be seen – in all the Upper Arboretum lost 40 trees, including 6 out of the 7 mature Monkey Puzzle trees, with 8 losses in the more sheltered Lower Arboretum.  Damage to other trees can still be seen now.  The Arboretum and Park were closed for 6 months while a huge recovery operation was put into place.

Since then a Tree Donation Scheme, which allows organisations or individuals to commemorate an event or person, has added at least 100 trees of over 50 varieties to the Arboretum, increasing its value and interest for future generations.

Further information:

Ipswich Arboretum: A History and Celebration with an Arboretum Tree Trail by David Miller (SORI 582.16/oversized/Local Studies)

Leaflet on the Tree Donation Scheme available from the Reg Driver Visitors Centre, Christchurch Park

Friends of Christchurch Park