Saturday, 20 January 2018

Sandbeck Park near Maltby 22 April 2017 (part one)

I was eager to visit Sandbeck Hall and Park as my great grandfather had worked there as a gardener, and met his future wife there, my great grandmother. The 1871 census details him as living in the gardener’s shed with four other gardeners, all single men aged between 18 and 27 years. It was fascinating to visit the old walled garden, a place he would have spent many hours growing the food that was to be on the table of the Lumley family.

This was to be a two-part meeting, with the afternoon being spent at Roche Abbey. We were met at the entrance to the Sandbeck Estate and guided to our rendezvous within the park, security being a concern for the estate staff. There were a total of 27 people attending, being members from Bradford, Rotherham, Sheffield, and Doncaster natural history societies, the leader was Louise Hill.

Walled Garden, Sandbeck Hall

Some time was spent within the walled kitchen garden, which is not currently performing that function, thus wild flowers are allowed to intrude into this once working garden where weeds would not have been tolerated. We were joined and welcomed by the present Earl of Scarborough, who showed great interest in our recording activities.

Parkland, Sandbeck Hall
Blossom, Sandbeck Hall
Outside the kitchen garden a great deal of new landscaping was underway, reshaping the park to meet a new scheme.

The Lake, Sandbeck Hall
We advanced around the lake, examining the Glaucous Sedge (Carex flacca), and admiring the Fritillary’s, both white and red varieties, growing in abundance.

Mistletoe, Sandbeck Hall
At the end of the permitted walk, we could see a large number of mistletoe growing on the group of trees close to the hall.

I enjoyed meeting Richard Campbell of the Bradford group, who was very knowledgeable regarding grasses and sedge. He kindly provided me with his list of species as follows. Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum), Few-flowered Garlic (Allium paradoxum), Cuckoo Pint or Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum), Spring Squill (Scilla verna), Spiked Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Lesser Pond Sedge (Carex acutiformis), Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris), Solomon's Seal (P. multiflorum), Bugle (Ajuga repans), Anemone sp. (thought to be A. appenina), Drooping Star-of-Bethlehem (which had 'gone over'), Red Clover, Mistletoe and Crosswort.

The group than reassembled for the trip to Roche Abbey (see next report).
Les Coe

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