Dr Mark Johnston leads the fight to save Castlewellan Arboretum and Annesley Garden

One of the biggest names in arboriculture is leading the fight to save a landmark arboretum and garden in Northern Ireland.

Dr Mark Johnston said he wanted to secure the restoration of Castlewellan Arboretum and Annesley Garden in County Down. The author of the seminal Trees in Towns II report has organised seminars on the issue running this week.

A free talk at Kew Gardens on Wednesday 17 April is sponsored by Barcham Trees and speakers include Dr Johnston, Kew’s head of the arboretum and horticultural services Tony Kirkham, Barcham’s Keith Sacre and Plumpton College arboriculture lecturer Hugh Morris,

The line up for the seminar at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, on Tuesday 23 April includes National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin director Dr Matthew Jebb and historic gardens consultant Finola Reid.

"Castlewellan Arboretum is a truly remarkable tree collection and heritage landscape, and rightly regarded as one of the gems of Ireland’s natural heritage," said Dr Johnston. "But everyone who appreciates this now needs to work together to secure its long-term future."

He said the site had been in decline since 2000, following reductions in gardening staff, but it had remarkable tree collection and was listed as one of the 20 great collections in Owen Johnson’s Champion Trees of Britain and Ireland published in 2011.

Email Natasha@barchamtrees.co.uk, tel 01353 720748, mob 07738 457704 or book online at www.barcham.co.uk/CastlewellanKew

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