Speedicus Maximus commented last week on a blog post about Major Spowers and Windlesham Arboretum, noting the changes since his last visit. Being someone, like him, who enjoys a walk in the countryside I set myself a challenge to visit the Arboretum.
Just as Speedicus Maximus has said, it’s been quite a while too, since I last visited. And like him I found much has changed, with The Windlesham Arboretum Charitable Trust now being called The Spowers Charitable Trust [SCT].
I’ve no desire to be overly critical of the changes, other than to say the preponderance of notices to tell you what you can’t do is depressing. Some of the notices are confusing – hopefully unintentionally so. The ones that say “Access is permitted at the following times: Outside BST: 7am – 5pm, During BST: 7am – 7pm” presumably apply to non-public rights of way. Public rights of way over the SCT land are open at all times, without restraint.
The Trust’s stated mission – to encourage an interest in birds and trees - is laudable. With such a mission, one might reasonably assume a desire to increase membership of the Trust so that others can share in that mission. No such desire is expressed in any notice. The obvious changes are the extensive work to the bridleways, gates, and hedgerow planting. Apart from these changes I’d say the place is being managed with benign neglect.
Perhaps someone will tell me that I’ve got it all wrong. I hope so.