A NEW outdoor attraction for the family has been unveiled by an estate’s garden team. 

The Arboretum team at the Mark Hall estate - between Earls Colne and Coggeshall - have been busy during lockdown creating a new natural wild space. 

The Wild Wood is a family-friendly play area made from natural materials sourced from the 2,350-acre estate.

It is a half-acre plot of woodland at the heart of the 220-acre arboretum.

It was cleared of undergrowth and created using offcuts and leftover wood following conservation work across the estate.

Bosses at Marks Hall say young visitors and the young-at-heart can build dens from foraged sticks, skip over pine stepping stones, climb through lime, and see-saw on an oak. 

A ring of sweet chestnut poles holds up an all-weather tarpaulin, forming a huge round canopy which will be used for school visits and storytelling events.

Ian Chandler, Arboretum Manager at Marks Hall Estate, said: “We’d been planning to create a natural area for families to explore and play in together as part of our Arboretum Management Plan.

"Lockdown provided us with the perfect opportunity to undertake wide-ranging work whilst there were no visitors.

“We designed something that can be used by all the family, and it will constantly evolve and change as the seasonal work on the Estate continues and we can add more features.

"It was really important to us that we only used materials sourced directly from the Estate, and we used our in-house tree surgery skills to craft all of the elements, including the mushrooms, fairy houses and other faces and shapes dotted around the wood."

The estate is open Tuesdays to Sundays.For more information visitcmarkshall.org.uk