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Last Updated: Friday, 23 July, 2004, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Tree trail with worldwide flavour
John Whitehead at the trail
John Whitehead designed the trail at the Grade 1-listed gardens
Visitors can explore trees from around the world thanks to a new trail at gardens in Gwynedd.

The trail and guide for Glynllifon near Caernarfon has been produced by arboculturist John Whitehead, who trained at Kew Gardens in London.

They include Himalayan rhododendrons, bamboo-leaved oaks, Japanese cedars and Californian redwoods.

Newly-planted native trees have also been reintroduced to help preserve the habitat of the lesser horseshoe bat.

Mr Whitehead said: "Kew Gardens and their huge collection of plants from so many different countries provided a botanical journey round the world and this inspired me to introduce a similar theme into Glynllifon."

Other trees, among 200 in total at the gardens, include native broad-leaves, which have been in Glynllifon for centuries.

They include the sessile oak, which has been designated the national tree of Wales, and one of only two oaks native to the British Isles.

The gardens are also involved in planting, to protect the home of Europe's largest colony of the lesser horseshoe bat, a site of special scientific interest.

"A greater variety of native trees was needed to cover a longer flowering season to extend the supply of insects for the bats," said Mr Whitehead.

"This demonstrates how Glynllifon Gardens prepares for the future as well as conserving the past."

The tree trail is landscaped with avenues, fountains and waterfalls with the first half of the trail suitable for disabled access.

Parc Glynllifon manager Gwynedd Roberts added: "John Whitehead has produced a masterpiece in compiling this trail."

The Grade I-listed gardens were opened to the public by Gwynedd council in 1989 and they remain under council management.

Tree-planting was started at Glynllifon in the 19th century under the auspices of the then 3rd Lord Newborough.


SEE ALSO:
Trees go as scarecrow flops
17 Feb 04  |  South West Wales
Search on for lost fruit trees
16 Apr 04  |  North East Wales


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