AN arboretum is undergoing the biggest projects in its 50 year history as it looks to transform part of the land into a replica of a large mountain range and lake.

Markshall Estate in Coggeshall is set to change more than ten acres of land into a replica of the Himalayas and a large new lake close by in the North American section of the Arboretum.

The project is the latest phase of plans to develop the arboretum at Markshall, which is just the beginning of a series of developments for the landscape.

The area is being re-landscaped before being planted with new trees and shrubs to further extend the Asia geographic zone.

Braintree and Witham Times:

About 17,000 cubic metres of soil from a development on nearby Earls Colne Business Park have been moved to form low hills which of course have been nicknamed the Himalayas.

On the other side of Robins Brook, an attenuation lake is under development.

The lake will take surface water from Earls Colne Business Park and is so constructed that it will hold large amounts of runoff in times of heavy rainfall.

The rainfall will then be discharged at a slow but steady rate down the nearby Robins Brook, helping to protect Coggeshall from future flash floods.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Before the lake was created, topsoil was scraped off to one side, and the soil was landscaped into the surrounding mounds. The original topsoil was then put back over the top.

This summer, the soil will be handpicked of roots, cultivated, and then the area will be planted with North American trees as part of the North America geographic zone.

Arboretum Manager Ian Chandler said: “The two development projects within the arboretum are hugely exciting and will provide the scope to extend the landscape in line with the master plan over the coming years.

“Within the phytogeographic planting plan, these new features will create new opportunities to further our North American and Asian areas. 

“With mass plantings of Californian Lilac, Yuccas, surrounded by North American conifers around the lake and Rhododendrons, Ginkgos, wild Chinese roses, and magnolias along the foothills of the Himalayas it will become a unique visitor experience in the coming years.”