When we came here some 22 years ago the parkland at the front of the house had a number of magnificent mature beech tree. I have read that after a couple of hundred years beech trees start to decline and drop limbs for no apparent reason. This has been happening to us for the last five years or so, indeed the last time was only a week ago. We were rebuilding the boundary wall to the north of the house on a lovely hot 25 degree afternoon when a large limb some 20 inches in diameter split lengthways and sagged to the ground.
The trees were probably planted when the current house was built around 1820, and it is immensely sad to watch them slowly disintegrate or be blown over as has happened in the last three consecutive years, however all is not lost. The very first one we lost due to gales was some 5 years ago, and a magnificent specimen it was too with no internal rot (something that most of the latest victims have) so we brought in a mobile saw mill and had it cut into planks.
Now that the wood is seasoned we are beginning to use it around the grounds and in the house. Ian, our indefatigable groundsman, has been restoring old garden furniture which we almost invariably obtain from Auldearn Antiques using this lovely home grown wood, and very handsome it is too. So if you do happen to visit us, and find yourself sat on an old wood and wrought iron bench or chair contemplating the lake, then consider all the history keeping your bum off the grass.