Brown at Croome: a mov­ing ex­pe­ri­ence?

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

THE Na­tional Trust’s Croome Prop­erty Man­ager has care­fully but vig­or­ously re­vealed Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown’s first great land­scape and ar­chi­tec­tural com­mis­sion (Let­ters, Oc­to­ber 19). The am­bi­ence and 18th­cen­tury feel of this lovely land­scape, look­ing across to the Malvern Hills, is a far cry from the dere­lic­tion and arable fields of but a few years ago.

Old routes, such as the ‘drive’ used to con­vey peo­ple the mile from Croome Court to Robert Adam’s Park Seat and the track for carts de­liv­er­ing pic­nics to the Tem­ple Green­house (il­lus­trated last week) must not be ho­mogenised into a sort of in­ner ring road.

There is a dan­ger that un­bounded en­thu­si­asm for the Na­tional Trust’s newly stated val­ues will now dam­age a tri­umphant achieve­ment. Walk­ing: yes. Cy­cling: else­where, please—at the Trust’s Bad­des­ley Clin­ton, per­haps? Jef­frey Ha­worth, Chair­man of Here­ford and Worces­ter Gar­dens Trust

IREAD with quite some in­ter­est Athena’s ar­ti­cle re­gard­ing the Na­tional Trust’s plan for a cy­cle track at Croome (Oc­to­ber 5). As some­one who’s been heav­ily in­volved in this year’s Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown ter­cente­nary cel­e­bra­tions, one of the ma­jor chal­lenges has been to in­spire a new au­di­ence to fall in love with Brown’s land­scapes and this kind of sports-based in­ter­ven­tion has the po­ten­tial to do that.

Af­ter all, as­pects of his land­scapes were de­signed to be en­joyed on the move and a cy­cle path is an in­tel­li­gent re­sponse to the chal­lenge of help­ing vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence the land­scape in as au­then­tic a way as pos­si­ble.

In em­brac­ing the man­made con­tours of Brown’s most im­por­tant com­mis­sion, I be­lieve that this cy­cle path will al­low vis­i­tors to en­joy an in­cred­i­ble his­toric as­set in a whole new way and fi­nally to re­alise the sheer scale of his achieve­ment. Dr Oliver Cox, Her­itage En­gage­ment Fel­low, Ox­ford­shire

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