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15th May 2019 – The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park

With a group of “senior” members from the Old Colstonian Society (the association of the alumni of Colston’s School in Bristol, UK) we visited The Savill Garden, an amazing garden in Windsor Great Park near London which describes itself as Britain’s finest ornamental garden.

DSC03441Windsor Great Park with Windsor Castle in the background

DSC03048The start of the tour

The Savill Garden is an enclosed part of Windsor Great Park, created by Sir Eric Savill in the 1930s. It is managed by the Crown Estate. The garden includes woodland, ornamental areas and a pond. However, at this spring time the speciality was the exotic azaleas, rhododendrons and magnolias.

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Eric Savill (1895–1980) was the grandson of Alfred Savill the founder of a large firm of estate agents and was involved in managing Windsor Great Park from 1930 to 1970, being Director of Gardens from 1962 to 1970. He opened the Savill Garden to the public in 1951 and left it as a heritage to the nation.

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There were a few birds which you would expect to see in gardens and woodland (such as blackbird, robin, jackdaw, Canada goose, pheasant) and a few surprising ones (such as a red kite, a parakeet and a family of Egyptian Geese). We even heard a cuckoo.

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DSC03130European robin

DSC03061Family of Egyptian geese

DSC03398Pheasant

DSC03233Jackdaw

DSC03251Jackdaw

DSC03436Female blackbird

DSC03235A very out-of-focus photo of red kite (which surprised me as it flew very close overhead)

DSC03367Parakeet (now quite common in London)

The whole experience was enhanced by the superb modern visitors’ centre with  restaurant, café and even retail opportunities.

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DSC03439The modern visitors’ centre

But today was not really about the birds, it was the flora which was truly magnificent in the beautiful sunshine.

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