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Pictures of Winkworth Arboretum

a Garden or Park in the town of Godalming, in the county of Surrey


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About Winkworth Arboretum

The magnificent landscape of Winkworth was begun in 1937 when Dr.Wilfred Fox took the opportunity to acquire a parcel of land from the Fisher-Rowe family - owners of Thorncombe Estate. The land had been left in its natural state as it had been considered unfit for cultivation, but Dr. Fox, who lived at a neighbouring farm, and who had a passion for nature, particularly trees, saw the huge potential of the steep sided, intensely wooded land, it had an unspoilt pastoral charm and breathtaking views, so he went ahead and purchased it.

Wilfred Fox was born in 1875, by profession he was a Doctor of Medicine working in London hospitals. The fact that today we have roads studded with attractive trees is largely due to him. He set up the Roads Beautifying Association in 1928. In 1948 he was awarded the Royal Horticultural Societies highest honour for his work in this field. It is also due to his generosity of spirit and natural desire to share his life's work with others that we are able to wander around the magnificent oasis of Winkworth. In 1952 Dr.Fox gave 62 acres of the Arboretum to the National Trust, these acres included the Upper Lake, and in 1957, just five years before he died, Dr.Fox parted with the lower lake and a further 35 acres. For the rest of his life he chaired the management committee that was set up to oversee the future development of the Arboretum.

Winkworth is a glorious colourful landscape where you can stroll for endless hours on turf softly carpeted with fallen leaves in hues of green and gold, particularly beautiful are the crimson leaves lying beneath lovely Acers in fading autumnal sunlight. Visit in spring and the landscape takes on a different atmosphere, the earth is waking, colourful buds are bursting, and the ground radiates with the vibrant blue of gently nodding bluebells. Here indeed is a wonderland of beautiful lakes in a wooded valley which is a patchwork of over 1000 rare and beautiful shrubs and trees. There is a springtime prominence of magnolias and azaleas, whilst the quaint boathouse at the edge of Rowe's Flashe Lake is surrounded by trees and bushes in a dozen different shades of green. No matter where you walk, here there is always something beautiful to draw the eye and cast a magic spell. From the higher reaches of the Arboretum the glorious views make it easy to understand why Wilfred Fox chose this blessed spot, and how it became his life-time passion.

The Arboretum never ceases to fascinate, it is a place of calm and rare tranquillity, where everything you see and touch is breathtakingly beautiful. A visit here is a richly rewarding experience that no one should miss.

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