Jarn Mound and Wild Garden - UK

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Revision as of 13:49, 15 December 2018 by Sophia.clarke (talk | contribs) (Which challenges is this landscape facing?)

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Name Jarn Mound and Wild Garden
Place Oxfordshire
Country United Kingdom
Author(s) Sophia Clarke
World Heritage if applicable,enter the year of listing

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Why is this case relevant?

Jarn Mound is a 50ft high viewpoint in Boars Hill, approximately 3 miles from Oxford. The viewpoint was built by Sir Arthur Evans in 1932, to allow people to take in the famous view of Oxford. At the top of the mound, there is a plinth with a map of the local area, to allow visitors to locate what they are looking at. The adjoining Jarn Wild Garden contains many different soil types to support a plethora of different British plant species; which Sir Arthur Evans also made open to the public. Sir Arthur Evans was a resident of Boars Hill, and he wanted to preserve the beauty and views of the area. As a resident of Boars Hill myself, I find this area extremely special and unusual. It is a small piece of Boars Hill's history, and is situated at the heart of the settlement.

Which idea of ‘design with nature’ guides the design concept of this site?

The site was designed and created by Sir Arthur Evans, who's main aims were to preserve the beauty of the area and provide views out to Oxford. The Wild Garden was The site is owned by the charity 'The Oxford Preservation Trust', which provide some annual maintenance. However there is also a local volunteer group, 'Abingdon Green Gym' who provide maintenance on a more regular basis. This group undertake tasks such as clearing dead vegetation and cutting back scrub. Around 30 years ago the Wild Garden was adapted to make it easier to maintain, however there are currently plans to restore the Wild Garden in the near future.

  • In this section you talk about the design concept of your area. Is it a highly maintained site, i.e. does the design with nature require intensive maintenance? Or does the site follow a more organic interpretation of nature? Which changes are expected if maintenance is missing?

Which challenges is this landscape facing?

Since 1932 a large number of trees and other vegetation have grown tall enough to block the view to Oxford from the top of the mound. There are now less visitors to the garden because of this, and this has resulted in less of a reason to maintain the garden to a high standard. The charity 'The Oxford Preservation Trust', that own the garden, also own a number more landscapes around the county; some of which have high visitor numbers. Maintenance budgets are more likely to be spent on these other landscapes, sometimes leaving Jarn Mound and Wild Garden without maintenance for a prolonged period of time. The mound itself has steps running up one side, however these are uneven and extremely steep, limiting accessibility to visitors and providing a health and safety issue. The plinth at the top of the mound once had a map of the local area and the views that could be seen from the this point, however it was often stolen as it was only glued down, and has not been recovered since the most recent incident.

If the views could be regained through thinning of the vegetation, the mound could once again become a popular destination for tourists and other visitors. Although the local community does not rely on the garden for any income, it would be appreciated if more time was spent maintaining the space. There are currently a few community events held in the garden each year, such as carol singing and charity bake sales. Due to the large number of benches situated around the garden, there is potential for it to be used for more events and gatherings. If the local residents care more about the Garden then it is more likely that maintenance will be performed timely.

What would be your strategy for improvement?

Finally, please share some ideas of how you would initiate positive change for your heritage area

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