Riverside haven opens at Bodnant

A ten acre area of tranquil riverside gardens will open tomorrow (Saturday 28 March) at the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden in north Wales for the first time in its 140-year history.

The Far End, (or wild garden as it was originally known), is part of on-going work to open all 80 acres of Bodnant to visitors, continuing the story of the garden created by five generations of the same family.

Skating pond in the spring in the Far End at Bodnant. Credit National Trust Bodnant

Skating pond in the spring in the Far End at Bodnant. Credit National Trust Bodnant

A team of five gardeners and numerous volunteers have been renovating this new area of the garden, cared for by the conservation charity, over the past five years.

National Trust gardener Fran Llewellyn says: “This area continues the great story of the gardens at Bodnant by allowing people for the first time to explore what lies beyond the Waterfall Bridge in the Dell. Its key features include waterside walks, a skating pond, boathouse and arboretum of notable and ancient trees including the Pinus ayacahuite (Mexican white pine) planted in 1902, with its enormous cones.

“I particularly love the skating pond because it’s so still, peaceful and quiet. You can see kingfishers and other birds here, even otters if you’re lucky!”

Bodnant head gardener John Rippin at work in the Far End. Credit National Trust Bodnant

Bodnant head gardener John Rippin at work in the Far End. Credit National Trust Bodnant

Joy Williams, one of the garden volunteers involved with the project says: “The Far End is one of my favourite areas at Bodnant. I first saw it four or five years ago when it was a lonely, unkempt place, not really a garden at all. It was a bit of a wilderness and nobody had touched it for years.

“Now you walk through the Far End and you can see where trees have been skilfully cut away to expose stunning and varied views.

“There is a lot of wildlife, especially squirrels and I if people look carefully they may see the trout fry. Now that many more plants have been planted down there it’s certainly somewhere I’d go and sit with a book on a sunny day.”

The boat house in the summer in the Far End at Bodnant. Credit National Trust Bodnant

The boat house in the summer in the Far End at Bodnant. Credit National Trust Bodnant

Throughout the year there will be different things to see, rhododendrons in spring, swaying waterside grasses and flowers in summer, amazing leaf colour in the autumn and in winter the reflections of giant trees on the lake.

Other areas the gardeners and volunteer team have already successfully opened up include the Old Park meadow and the Yew Dell.

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