In a tradition going back some decades, the visiting VIP, Rt. Hon. Andrea Leadsom PC MP, was invited to plant a tree in the award winning hotel arboretum. With over 800 species of trees in the 35-acre grounds, the Minister added to the vast collection by planting an Oregon maple tree (Acer Macrophyllum).
Edward Beale, grandfather of the current Beales Hotels MD Andrew Beale, founded the arboretum in 1963. Beginning with an empty ten-acre field, Edward began his ambitious project and today the arboretum has over 800 different varieties of trees. The collection is officially recognised by Plant Heritage for its nationally important Hornbeam and Taxodium trees.
"We are very grateful that the Minister was able to carry on such a long-held tradition of VIP planting here at the hotel, the Oregon Maple will be a lovely addition to our collection," said Andrew Beale.
Many VIPs have wandered the grounds and enjoyed hospitality at West Lodge Park Hotel including: Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Michael Portillo. In addition several Lord Mayors of London have planted trees in the grounds.
The Beale Arboretum is open to the public twice a year in aid of the National Gardens Open Day Scheme. These events are very popular attracting hundreds of people who enjoy guided tours by experts. The next Open Day will be held on Sunday 14th May 2017 2-5pm. Entrance is £5 per person with all proceeds donated to charity.