The bicentenary of the death of Horsham born poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was officially marked by the planting of a symbolic chestnut tree in the Shelley Wildlife Garden at Warnham Local Nature Reserve, Horsham.
Historical documentation has indicated to us that Shelley often sat under a specific chestnut tree near the Reserve’s Millpond in the late 19th and early 20th century, and this is where he took a lot of his inspiration for his work. The Wildlife Garden has been inspired by Shelley’s love of the environment which often featured in his works.
Shelley died on 8 July 1822 as a result of a boating accident in Italy at the age of 29.
The tree planting was carried out by Horsham District Council’s Chairman Cllr David Skipp, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture Cllr Roger Noel and Cabinet Member for Horsham Town Centre Cllr Christian Mitchell.
Cllr Noel commented:
I cannot think of a more fitting way to commemorate the passing of such a significant figure for our District.
Warnham Local Nature Reserve remains to this day a delightful venue for many local people to enjoy, just as Shelley did, and retains much of the unspoilt nature of Shelley’s time.
The tree is positioned in the new Shelley Wildlife Garden t the entrance to the Reserve, so you can’t miss it when you next come to visit.
Cllr Roger Noel, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture
Cllr Mitchell added:
Percy Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and it is right that we celebrate his achievements in poetry. The place for the tree is justly in a beautiful setting.
Cllr Christian Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Horsham Town Centre