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1st Jul, 2022

National Trust park welcomes visitors following floods

Ian Hughes 27th Apr, 2018

A DRIER Charlecote Park is looking forward to welcoming visitors following the floods.

Persistent heavy rain over Easter caused the rivers Avon and Dene, which both run through the parkland, to burst their banks leaving vast areas of the National Trust estate underwater. The property near Wellesbourne was even forced to close on Easter Sunday as over 60 per cent of the parkland was flooded.

Park and gardens manager Paul Smith explained: “The property sits on two flood plains of the River Avon and River Dene but it’s years since we’ve seen the flooding this bad.

“With the snow from early March followed by more rain, the ground was completely saturated and hadn’t had a chance to dry out.”

The Jacob sheep and fallow deer were situated on higher ground in the parkland during the flooding and were kept under close observation as the water levels rose.

Visitor access had to be limited over the following weeks. Fast moving flood water and not being able to see where the river edges began, meant areas of the park were off limits – for safety reasons and for the protection of the park.

Mr Smith added: “It might just seem a bit wet and muddy, but repeatedly walking or driving over water-logged ground can cause compaction of the soil, affecting trees’ absorption of vital nutrients.

“The water also exposes tree roots, leaving them prone to damage. Grassland and other wildlife habitats across the parkland would also have been heavily impacted by footfall over saturated muddy ground.”

Bosses are now looking forward to warmer and drier weather and welcoming visitors who are vital in helping fund continuing work at the 16th century house and surrounding deer park.

Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/charlecote-park for further details.

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