The Paths To Enlightenment

Annual rainfall figures at Chartwell 2011 to 2013

Annual rainfall figures at Chartwell 2011 to 2013

It can’t have escaped your knowledge that it’s been a little bit damp in the UK over the last few months! In fact, as this BBC report shows, it has officially been the wettest Winter since records began in 1910 and here at Chartwell the situation has been much the same. If you look at the graph above you will see that last year (2013) the months of February, March, May, August, September, October and December were all wetter than the corresponding months from 2011 or 2012. And January and February of 2014 look to be following a similar trend with over 219mm of rain falling in January (beating even last October’s record 180mm by some margin!) and 145.5mm so far in February with still a few days to go!

The Chartwell garden rain gauge has certainly seen some action recently!

The Chartwell garden rain gauge has certainly seen some action recently!

We record the rainfall levels every day here at Chartwell, along with the maximum and minimum daily temperatures and humidity levels both indoors (in our greenhouses) and outside so that we can see trends like these recent developments forming and hopefully be able to react to them accordingly.

This is our simple measuring equipment and logging system showing just how easy it can be to record weather data for yourself

This is our simple measuring equipment and logging system showing just how easy it can be to record weather data for yourself

I guess one of the plus points about the heavy rain is that at least our water butts are nice and full!

I guess one of the plus points about the heavy rain is that at least our water butts are nice and full!

Readers of last week’s blog will remember how there are plenty of signs of Spring here in Churchill’s gardens, from Snowdrops and Primulas to emerging Peony buds. But what about the wider estate at Chartwell I hear you ask? You might think that with all this rain that the paths would be almost unusable in places. Well, judging by some of the other pathways and tracks I’ve seen elsewhere recently you’d be right in guessing this, but luckily we have pre-empted the weather conditions and had most of our woodland walks scraped back to make them much easier and more pleasant to use.

Both the upper and lower paths have been scraped and cleared

Both the upper and lower paths have been scraped and cleared

A local contractor firm run by Michael Butcher that has links all the way back to Sir Winston Churchill’s occupancy here, spent a couple of days removing the thick mud from our estate paths and exposing the hard surfaces beneath. This means that our visitors can still experience all that the Chartwell estate has to offer without wading through mud and puddles or even worse slipping and sliding about as they make their way around.

These clear pathways mean that everyone can still enjoy the whole of Chartwell's 82 acres...

These clear pathways mean that everyone can still enjoy the whole of Chartwell’s 82 acres…

...including great Wintery views like this

…including great Wintery views like this

If you are unaware of what you can see and do in our woodland, be sure to check out the series of blogs I did on this part of Churchill’s grounds here, here, here and here. In the meantime we look forward to seeing you here at Chartwell, whether it’s in the woods or the gardens, very soon…

Jamie

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