The vista down the park from the croquet lawn is one of the defining views at Dillington. The long view formed by carefully planted trees adds wonderfully to that sense of getting away from the hurly-burly and into something natural and real. Of course, this is all an illusion and the park is, in reality, a carefully contrived construction. There is nothing natural really just a fabricated appearance of nature in its most benign state. Key to the the theatre of the landscape are the trees and so, with a metaphorical tear in my eye, I have to report a great loss. The magnificent weeping willow, at the end of the bank on your right as you look down the garden into the park, suddening gave up its crown which crashed down into the rest of the tree. The moment was 7.30am last Thursday morning and the crack was so loud a resident was convinced somebody had let off a powerful gun. The sheep in the park were completely spooked by the retort and spent a good ten minutes or more running about as if their lives depended on it. The sheep survived the ordeal but sadly the tree didn’t. So much of the tree was damaged that the only kind thing was to take it down completely. Naturally, we counted the rings and ascertained that it was planted some 47 years ago. This makes it a youngster among the trees at Dillington but this wonderful willow was one of the most conspicuous and graceful. It will be missed and remembered.