Burke's Wood - a new woodland garden at The Trentham Estate
Burke’s Wood is a new woodland garden created within the lakeside woodland area at Trentham.
It is dedicated to the commitment of Steve Burke who sadly passed away in March 2017. Steve was St. Modwen’s Group Construction Director and instrumental in all of St. Modwen’s major regeneration projects in his 22 years with the company.
Burke’s Wood is part of one of the Estate’s most significant landscapes, which has been revealed, restored, and given a new contemporary layer for visitors to both experience and to enjoy. This major project commenced in 2013 in order to improve the area of woodland on the west of the Lake. The goal has been to recreate the lost connection between Lancelot “Capability” Brown’s 18th Century lake and the historic parkland to the west. In 2016, the project received a commendation from the Georgian Group.
Michael Walker, Head of Garden and Estate at Trentham said: “We are using the significance of the past to help guide and inform our approach today; which is to enable Trentham to move forward in ways that allow the landscape to be nurtured and improved for future generations as well as the many visitors who enjoy visiting today”.
Three very modern chaise lounge seats have been installed to face the lake. The view out from the benches across the historic gardens and Capability Brown’s lake with glimpses the Screwfix distribution centre in the distance may be a moment to smile at the juxtaposition of the view. Screwfix is at St. Modwen’s Trentham Lakes development, the commercial redevelopment of the former Hem Heath Colliery, which in itself had a big influence on the Trentham Estates’ past. Steve had been intensively involved in both Trentham schemes and their major regeneration which has provided so much employment and opportunity in the local area.
The benches are fun and will engage visitors of all ages in the landscape. They have been inscribed with a favourite mantra of Steve and his family: “Dream, Believe Achieve”. The family wanted no other inscription, this is not a memorial, it is a positive legacy to Steve, something for everyone.
Working with landscape designer, Nigel Dunnett, “Burke’s Wood” will be part of one of the most beautiful two mile lakeside and woodland walks in the country. With over 70,000 perennial plants, 800 shrubs, 100 trees, and 200,000 bulbs already planted, the scheme will be completed over the next few years and will include a very beautiful boardwalk; marginal lake and river plantings; further tree, shrub and bulb planting; and other creative elements.