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Elegant is probably the best word to describe Dunorlan Park – originally the gardens of a grand mansion built by the Yorkshire-born merchant Henry Reed, Dunorlan’s 78-acre landscape was created by Robert Marnock, the renowned Victorian gardener.
Besides the lake, the park boasts a number of other original decorative features that remain to be admired, such as the fountain, cascade and Grecian temple.
Although they might look ancient, most of these features were made of ‘Pulhamite’, an early form of artificial stone named after its creator.
There’s plenty to do besides admire the grounds, however – the park has a putting green, an events field and a welcoming cafe, and, in the summer, boating takes place on the lake. The modern playground will provide plenty of entertainment for younger kids, while there’s more than enough space to kick a ball around.
With habitats ranging from meadow and grassland to hedgerows, Dunorlan boasts an impressive array of wildlife. In addition to the heron commonly seen in the lake, kingfishers and woodpeckers can also be found. There are over 30 types of flowering plants and grasses, and several varieties of rushes grow in the marshes.
In 2003/4 Dunorlan benefited from a major restoration costing £2.8m, of which £2.1m came from a Heritage Lottery Fund award. 15,000 new plants were introduced, along with 260 new trees. Since then, the park has become a Green Flag award winner, and a real source of pride to local residents.
Easy access information
This park and open space has well surfaced routes suitable for visitors with pushchairs and/or wheelchairs, and has no width restricting features, such as stiles or non RADAR kissing gates.