Heart of oaks

Harry Legge Bourke from the Glanusk Estate led a memorable tour for South East branch members of a collection of over 200 oak species from all parts of the world - as part of the region's Annual General Meeting
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Harry Legge Bourke: a remarkable scientific collection, but also on a highly diversified estate business

Glanusk Estate’s two-hundred plus oak trees is the second largest UK collection of the Quercus species and cultivars. Hosting our South East Wales branch AGM, Harry Legge Bourke, estate owner provided a tour of the collection and a discussion about the challenges of the estate business. The oak collection comes from all parts of the world, carries considerable scientific importance in addition to being an interesting and enjoyable estate walk.

The collection, started by Harry’s father, includes a 500m oak avenue of many unusual and rare specimens. They enjoy fast growing conditions and Harry’s personal care and attention. However, despite the oak species’ reputation for strength, longevity and a healthy capacity to procreate, the tour raised attention to the vulnerability of the species to damage caused by Sudden Oak Death, issues of biosecurity and damage caused by grey squirrels.

Harry Legge Bourke demonstrated how he is cultivating rare oaks and, using suitable species, has developed a method for creating oak hedging by weaving shrub species.

A bonus to this AGM-linked event was Harry’s tour of the private church on the estate which itself hosts regimental colours and military memorials. The estate house is the home for a remarkable collection of military paintings and memorabilia, which together demonstrate our host’s passion for the subject. We are very grateful to Mr Legge Bourke for hosting our AGM and conducting a memorably enjoyable visit.

Glanusk Estate is a diversified business in commercial and residential property, a caravan park, festivals and events management, weddings, fishing and corporate events. You can find out more here.