Conservation work could ‘Disneyfy’ Petworth Park

Work being carried out at the lake in Petworth Park
Work being carried out at the lake in Petworth Park

Conservation work in Petworth Park designed to bring an iconic painting back to life has been described as creating a ‘Disneyfied’ version of the Turner.

The Capability Brown landscape including the Upper Pond, inspired JMW Turner to paint Dewy Morning in 1810.

Several trees have grown on the pond’s 18 islands obstructing the view that inspired him and in partnership with Natural England, the National Trust are now cutting trees to bring it back and protect the islands.

But Simon Mein was devastated when dog walking to see the tree felling: “My worry is they are turning it into a Disneyfied version of the Turner,” he said, “I was horrified to see on one island three really good trees which had a life of around 150 years and were only about 40 years old, were being taken down.”

Martyn Burkinshaw, landscape manager at Petworth, said: “We understand the felling of trees is an emotive subject and people feel a close connection with them, as we do.”

But it was essential work to protest the small islands and the historic trees on them. He said the islands were artificially created over 100 years ago and the trees roots had gone through the pond linings. If they fell, the islands themselves could be uprooted.

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