Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Wilding the Dunsany Estate

So thanks to Doug A. for the news that the current Lord Dunsany (the twenty-first baron, great-grandson of the great writer) is  'rewilding' a sizable chunk of Dunsany Castle's extensive grounds. Hence 700 acres of the 1700 acre pasturage is now growing up with trees and native grasses, providing habitat for a wide range of wildlife, from birds to rare Irish bees to badgers. While the baron has banned not just pesticides but also fertilizer and even paths within the Dunsany Natural Preserve, he has allowed a film shoot for a film he has directed, THE GREEN SEA.

The part of the article that interested me most was the bit about his planting trees:


 “I walk around today and see large trees planted by someone who never got to see them grow. And in turn, I’m planting trees today that I will never see grow.

“But these trees are not for me, these trees are for the young people around us. 

Partly this moved me because if I had land that's what I'd do with it (mimosa, magnolias, and willows), and partly because the time I got to visit Dunsany Castle back in 1987 the road or drive up to the house was lined with beautiful old trees.* When I praised them, Lord Dunsany (Captain Randal, the nineteenth baron), who was driving, commented that they'd been planted two hundred years before, I think it was, and wd be fully grown in about another twenty years. Americans just don't think in those terms.

Here's the link:

--John R.

P.S.: One minor correction: while Sir Horace Plunkett is as important as they say, and probably more so, he was not an ancestor of the current baron but his great-grandfather's uncle. 

*my memory says chestnuts, but I don't think that's possible, unless Irish chectnuts survived the blight that wiped out the American chestnut.


Magister said...

Tiny correction: The 19th Baron was a Lieutenant-Colonel. It was his father who was a Captain.

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear Magister

That's a pretty big goof on my part; thank you for setting it straight. That'll teach me to blog without looking things up.

I feel all the more chagrined because the 19th baron was very generous with his time on the one occasion when I met him, and I'm grateful.

Of course if does complicate references that the current lord (21st baron) has the same name as his grandfather (19th baron): Randal.

--John R.

David Bratman said...

I've often seen the word "ancestor" used to refer to collateral ancestors, which your great-great-etc.-uncle would be. Doesn't mean it's correct, though, whatever "correct" may mean in this case.