Alison Allighan writes:
At the request of members of the local community, we recently visited (2009) the remains of the only known garden designed by Humphry Repton in Scotland, at Valleyfield in Fife. The house was abandoned in 1918 and subsequently demolished, but remnants of the designed landscape which survive include the picturesque carriage drive with rustic bridges along the Bluther Burn, and remnants of the walled flower garden and ornamental canal.
Much of the landscape is now owned by Fife Council and maintained as a Community Woodland, local volunteers being assisted by the Fife Ranger Service. The woodlands along the Bluther Burn are probably much as Repton envisaged them, mixed deciduous cover left to the management of nature, if a little untidier and demonstrating the classic urban fringe problems of vandalism and rubbish dumping. Valleyfield has had a sorry history over the 20th century but now has an enthusiastic group of local volunteers keen to undertake further improvements to their local landscape, including clearing out the canal and beginning restoration work on the flower garden. Over the next few months we shall be assisting them as much as we can in their efforts to secure a future for this landscape.