Wet summer set to create spectacular autumn colours at Batsford Arboretum and the National Arboretum at Westonbirt
THIS year’s soggy summer could have unexpected benefits for two of the Cotswold’s most popular attractions.
Gardeners at Batsford Arboretum, which boatss of being the most visited arboretum in the UK, are expecting a spectacular burst of colour as autumn sets in thanks to the unusual conditions over the past year.
Last winter’s prolonged dry period followed by the wet summer have placed the arboretum’s 1,600 trees and woody plants under significant stress and the attraction suffered from waterlogging in some of the wetter periods.
Head gardener Matthew Hall said, although this summer had been hard for staff and visitors to the arboretum, the conditions meant many of the trees had put on a huge amount of growth over the past few months.
"The extra growth spurt means the trees have built up more sugars in their leaves, so if the weather is right, with warm days, cool nights and light winds, we should be in for a really good autumn," he said.
"It’s been a stressful year for our tree collection trying to cope with the extremes of weather but we’re keen to look on the bright side and truly believe we’re in for a show-stopping autumn in the arboretum."
Simon Toomer, director at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt said it was set to be a spectacular autumn.
“Trying to guess the timing and colouring of trees in autumn is something that we indulge in every year at Westonbirt,” he said.
“It's good fun, but nature is a mysterious thing and even with increased scientific and plant knowledge, we can get it wrong.
“Weather can also intervene, with a harsh storm or severe frost putting the end to many a great autumn show.”