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The Arboretum at Kilmacurragh, Kilbride, Co. Wicklow is an important and historic garden managed by the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. Restored in recent years, the Arboretum is developing as a major collection of plants from temperate regions of the world.
Permission has been given to place a cache in this wonderful area so please take care when visiting the cache site, however the cache is not placed near any of the flora. Please be careful and don't trample on anything in the area.
Dog owners will be delighted to know that dogs are welcome in Kilmacurragh Arboretum however dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
Kilmacurragh Arboretum is another great hidden gem in Wicklow that can't go unvisited. If you are looking for a peaceful walk in beautiful surroundings look no further, and if you have a green finger there is plenty of flora for you to investigate.
The Arboretum is particularly famous for its conifers and calcifuges (lime-hating plants) and was largely planted during the 19th Century by Thomas Acton, in association with the curators of the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin. Planting began on the estate in the 1700s and later from the 1850s when a wide range of plants were introduced that could not be grown in less favourable climate and soils at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. It is said Acton had a rule of thumb to plant three of every tree or shrub: one to be planted where others told him it would definitely survive, one where he thought it would thrive, and one where he was informed it would definitely not survive.
During the early part of the 20th century the estate passed from the hands of the Acton family and fell into a state of neglect. In the 1970s the property was taken over by the government. A 58 acre (23 Ha) portion comprising the house, arboretum and entrance drive-way and woodlands was handed over to the State before becoming part of the National Botanic Gardens in 1996. Central to the estate is the Queen Anne style Kilmacurragh House, built in 1697. The central block of the house dates from 1697. The two wings were added during the nineteenth century. Disastrous fires in 1978 and 1982 destroyed the roof timbers and now the house is in ruins.
|The collections include many interesting and remarkable tree and shrub specimens, such as fine conifers from the Southern Hemisphere such as Athrotaxis, Fitzroya, Podocarpus and Saxegothoea. Notable broadleaves trees include Lithocarpus henryi and Picconia excelsa as well as numerous rhododendron species.
An avenue of Rhododendrons and Irish yews (Taxus baccata ‘fastigiata’) runs from the rear of the house, surrounded by glades of southern conifers and many other rhododendron species.
In recent years a major program of replanting the Arboretum has been put in place. This includes sections for plants of China-Chile and the Himalaya. A Visitor Services and Educational programme has been established, including programmes of guided tours, workshops and other educational opportunities. The ecological restoration of native woodland and grassland ecosystems is also being undertaken, including proposed genetic collections of native tree species.
|Kilmacurragh Arboretum provides not only an important new area where the scientific research and conservation programmes of the National Botanic Gardens can be developed further but also an important visitor and environmental education amenity for the growing metropolitan populations of Dublin and Wicklow.
Winter (mid-Nov to mid-Feb)
Summer (mid-Feb to mid-Nov)
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