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Thorp Perrow Arboretum near Bedale with the Yorkshire Section 2nd June 2019
Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, not far from the historic town of Bedale, Thorp Perrow is an exciting place to explore offering something for everyone It is one of the finest private collections of trees and shrubs in the country. This 85 acre arboretum is unique to Britain, if not Europe, in that it was the creation of one man, Sir Robert Ropner (1838–1924) who emigrated to England from Germany in 1857 and founded the well known fleet of merchant ships that carried the family House Flag for over 100 years. Thorp Perrow Estate was purchased by his son, Sir William in 1927. Born in 1864, he was the third eldest of ten children. Colonel Sir Leonard Ropner, was 32 years old when the Estate was bought and it was very soon afterwards that the planning and planting began. The Arboretum was Sir Leonards ‘Secret Garden’ and he was extremely proud of it but towards the end of his life it had become neglected. Upon his death in 1977 his son, Sir John was faced with the problem of what to do with these 85 acres. Alan Mitchell, the famous dendrologist was asked to come and advise, and when he re-emerged from the jungle he said in no uncertain terms that the collection should be preserved at all costs. Picking up the challenge; time, toil and teamwork has gone into making Thorp Perrow what you see today. Sir John and his wife, Niki worked tirelessly, constantly improving and developing the Arboretum with a very hands-on approach. In 2016, following the death of Sir John, his son Sir Henry and wife Natasha along with their children took hold of the reins.