Coggeshall: High Commissioner visits Gondawanaland

Australian High Commissioner Mike Rann (right ) planting a Wollemi pine in Gondwanaland assisted by

Australian High Commissioner Mike Rann (right ) planting a Wollemi pine in Gondwanaland assisted by senior arborist Ian Chandler on the left. - Credit: Archant

Australian High Commissioner Mike Rann visited Marks Hall near Coggeshall this week to discover more about a section of the estate devoted to plants and trees from the Southern Hemisphere.

During a tour of the estate, the former Premier of South Australia planted a Wollemi Pine in the Gondwanaland area of the estate’s gardens. The tree species was thought extinct less than 30 years ago before a small batch of less than a hundred were discovered in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. Now there is a concerted effort to grow the world population of Wollemi Pine and Marks Hall has over 70 planted on its grounds.

According to estate curator Jonathan Jukes, the 10-acre Gondwanaland section was started after the 1987 hurricane devastated the conifer crop that stood there previously.

A feature of the area is the large numbers of individual species that have been planted including 300 Southern Beech, 200 Eucalyptus trees and several hundred New Zealand Pampas. In addition, there is also an experimental planting of Cabbage Palm, and Agapanthus.


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