Havering Park still has the second largest plantation of Wellingtonia in England, totalling 100 trees
Havering Park is quite small and undistinguished. It doesn’t have a cafe or a deer park and it definitely doesn’t have stunning views across London. What it does have is a unique avenue of trees: Wellingtonia Avenue.
The Giant Redwood lines Wellingtonia Avenue but because of rapid local changes they go from nowhere to nowhere. They were planted about 140 years ago by the McIntosh family who owned the local mansion. Nowadays they’d be regarded as a foreign invader species but the attraction in the 19th century was that,
Redwoods grow faster than almost any other tree in the world, obtaining 3 to 10 feet of growth per year. Most of this growth occurs in the first century of a redwood’s life.** (my emphasis)
The great 18th century gardens took decades to put together before reaching maturity. The McIntosh family didn’t want to wait. They selected the Giant Redwood. The Giant Redwood lives for 3000 years becoming a monster, which means, barring climate change, they could live until about 5020! Havering Park is blessed with a landscape dominated by wonderful trees.
A short walk on a decent surface means that Havering Park provides a unique experience and is worth a visit.
For a wonderful set of photographs see http://www.redwoodworld.co.uk/picturepages/havering.htm
For a detailed list of Havering’s principal parks see https://www.havering.gov.uk/info/20037/parks
For an overview of the giant redwood see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoiadendron_giganteum
For an 18th century Capability Brown garden see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stowe/profiles/capability-found-at-stowe