The Tree Cathedral’s outline is based on Norwich Cathedral and was designed in 1986 by landscape architect Neil Higson. He chose different species of trees to represent the character of the Cathedral's sections: hornbeam and tall-growing lime for the nave, evergreens to represent the central tower and spires, flowering cherry and apple as a focus in the chapels. In springtime colourful bulbs represent the sun shining through stained glass windows onto the ground.
The Tree Cathedral is the only municipal tree cathedral, although sharped by similar medieval ecclesiastical influences.This is a very rare example of a particular type of landscape design on a large and complex scale based on the scale and layout of a medieval British cathedral.
Originally it was to be planted with poplars for rapid growth, but MKDC became more confident on the project which enabled a more complex plan to be worked out relating character of species to the component elements and place structure of the cathedral. There is a mix of evergreen and deciduous, with features such as the tower and the west door being evergreen. The effect varies depending on the time of year, but the scale and monumentality of the grove of trees create a significant impact.
Interment or scattering of ashes
This is a natural setting for the scattering or interment of ashes. Find out more here.
It’s sometimes possible to use the Tree Cathedral for private ceremonies and celebrations. We also hold wedding blessing services at The Tree Cathedral, find out more here. Please contact the events team on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.
For future public events, check out our what's on pages.
There is a pay and display car park at the V10 Brickhill St between H5 Portway and H4 Dansteed Way (Pagoda and temple). This car park is managed by Napier Parking. Find out more about the various car parks in this area and parking charges on the Willen Lake website.
There are no public toilets at Newlands. The closest facilities are at Willen Lake South, adjacent to the cafeteria and children’s playground.
There is a path to the Tree Cathedral from the Livingstone Drive car park. Other access to the Tree Cathedral is via unmade tracks, which may be difficult in bad weather. There are gaps between the stones so please take extra care if using a walking aid.
Make a day of it
Newlands lies due east of Campbell Park which can be reached via a leisure route that crossed the canal. Directly opposite the Tree Cathedral is Willen Lake, which is in turn part of the Ouzel Valley Park, offering a wide range of options for extending your outing.