Was it a hawk, a buzzard or a kite? All I know is that it was a bird of prey
|Mighty oaks from little acorns grow (photo by the blog author)|
We were at Batsford Arboretum, in Gloucestershire. Home to one of the UK’s largest private tree collections, we’d just spent a good hour walking among cherry blossoms and oak trees.
With 56 acres of wild gardens, paths and streams, the arboretum offers something to everyone. Set up as a charity, the Batsford Foundation (the body that oversees the venue’s management and maintenance) aims to promote education, conservation and research into gardens and historic landscapes.
Originally the estate belonged to Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, who had worked for the Foreign Office in Russia, Japan and China in the 1860s. A passionate lover of the oriental landscape, this was the sort of design Mitford had in mind for the arboretum.
|A cedar tree (photo by the blog author)|
Sadly, during the Second World War and the years that followed the grounds became wild and fell into neglect. It wasn’t until Frederick Anthony Hamilton Wills, 2nd Lord Dulverton, succeeded the previous owner that the garden was returned to its former glory.
Once we left the arboretum I realised there was another building next to it. It was a falconry, where many birds of prey can be seen daily in free-flying demonstrations. I spotted another couple of birds up in the air with the one I’d seen before.But hard as I tried, I still couldn’t tell them apart.