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28 October 2014
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Tresco
Tresco
Tresco Abbey nestling alongside the Abbey Garden
In the Abbey Gardens on the island of Tresco there are connections with countries all over the world through the plants which grow there.
International cruise ships call at the island and visitors come from all over the world.
SEE ALSO
This BBC site explains more about birdwatching on the Scillies with Bill Oddie.
WEB LINKS
Take a look at Tresco's own web site
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
FACTS

+ The Tresco Estate now also operates the Hell Bay Hotel on the neighbouring island of Bryher.

+ There are no cars on Tresco.

+ The Abbey Garden extends over some 17 acres.
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Ths Isles of Scilly lie about 30 miles from Lands End off the south western tip of the United Kingdom. There are five inhabited islands and dozens more uninhabited islands and clusters of rocky outcrops. All of the islands enjoy a year-round mild climate thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream; frost and snow are virtually unknown.

Tresco palms
Palms growing alongside a Tresco beach

Tresco is a private island which was leased in 1834 by the Duchy of Cornwall to a Hertfordshire Squire, Augustus Smith. He began to build the community on the island building Tresco Abbey as a home alongside the ruins of an old priory. He quickly realised that if shelter from the wind was provided that tender plants would thrive here and began to create the garden which now draws millions of people from all over the globe.

Tresco Abbey ruin

The ruins of Tresco Abbey

A community of about 150 permanently live on the island; some families have lived here for many generations. Farming and fishing as well as tourism are still important parts of the island's economy. The Estate runs The Island Hotel and The New Inn as accommodation for visitors and there are several time-share and holday-let cottages.

Tresco Neptune steps
Tresco's famous Neptune Steps

The Abbey Garden itself contains well over 20,000 exotic plants many of which wouldn't even grow on the Cornish mainland. Over 80 countries are represented including Brazil, Burma, South Africa and New Zealand. The hot dry terraces at the top of the garden suit South African and Australian plants and South American plants thrive lower down the slope all cared for by Curator Mike Nelhams, Head Gardener Andrew Lawson and a team of gardeners. Within the garden is the famous Valhalla figurehead museum where memories of the island's seafaring past are brought to life.

Tresco Pentle beach
One of Tresco's white shell beaches

One of the main sections of the garden is the terraced Mediterranean garden with a shell house at its centre with an interior designed by Lucy Dorrien Smith. From the heliport visitors come into the garden's new visitor centre which includes an interpretation centre, cafe, shop and plant sales area built around a central courtyard. From the courtyard you see the shell house across a startling blue bridge with spars pointing skywards. Gothic arches, designed by Cornish-based sculptor Tom Leaper, are a reminder of the garden's ecclesiatical origins.

Take a look at Tresco's own website; see the link on the left!

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