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The Pines Garden: garden designed for biodiversity, education and wellbeing
At the Pines Garden there are lots of things for you to get involved with around the gardens, from poetry and heritage to maths, health and sustainability. There are plenty of opportunities to learn, explore and relax as you walk around the garden.
Our new design for garden builds on the original design and spans the next 10 years in the garden’s development and includes new wildflower meadows, insect and wildlife habitats, more features of educational and wider interest, a permaculture food growing area and the restoration of the lake. These changes enhance the biodiversity of the garden and provide an inspirational setting for outdoor learning and citizen science projects. We also have a growing number of varied volunteers, work experience groups, horticulture trainees and interns working with us in the garden.
The gardens are managed by the Bay Trust, which is an environmental education charity which also operates Rippledown – a 70 bed residential environmental education centre located 3 miles away. Rippledown is full most of the year, mainly with primary school groups, which normally visit the Pines Garden and the beach just 200m away for a day during their visit. With the high costs of maintaining a 6 acre garden for public enjoyment and education, the Trust is running the garden in new ways, which includes increasing our work with local partners, such as being a host for Francesca’s wonderful dye plants garden project. We also have a partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University, including their Ecology Research Group, Faculty of Health & Wellbeing, and School of Education, and with the local Up on the Downs landscape partnership, coordinated by Dover District Council.
Doddington Place is surrounded by wooded countryside in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Downs.
‘As the shadows lengthen across the immaculate lawns at Doddington Place, one could be transported back 100 years’ Kent Life.
The lovely landscaped gardens, recognised of being of historical importance by English Heritage, are set in the grounds of an imposing Victorian mansion and cover ten acres. The gardens have been open in aid of the National Gardens Scheme for more than fifty years.
There is a notable woodland garden – spectacular in May and June – which includes many different varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas; also a large Edwardian rock garden with pools (currently undergoing extensive renovation); a formal sunk garden with herbaceous borders, and a flint and brick folly. Extensive lawns and avenues are framed by impressive clipped yew hedges and many fine trees.
Brogdale Collections is the home of the National Fruit Collection and works to provided access and education about the National Fruit Collection. Set in over 150 acres of farmland, we have over 4000 varieties of fruit trees here from apples, pears, quinces and plums to cherries and more. The Collections orchards are a living history & heritage of fruit.
Brogdale Collections is a charity working to provide access and education about the National Fruit Collection to the public. It was established as a charity to work with the curator chosen by DEFRA. Brogdale Collections has managed visitor access to the NFC in partnership with the University of Reading, since the start of their curation in 2008. The Charity offers a range of opportunities for the public to use the collections as an educational resource including Daily Guided Tours (April – November), Fruit Days, Festivals and Key Stage 1 & 2 Education Days.
Elmley is a family-run farm with approximately 700 cattle grazing the pasture each year. It is this grazing marsh that provides such a special habitat for wildlife.
It is an internationally important site for the conservation of both habitat and plants, animals, insects and bird and so it is a SSSI, Special Protected Area for birds and Ramsar site (wetland of world importance). We have a huge number of rare and endangered species but Elmley is especially important for breeding wadering birds and over-wintering birds – in fact this year we have a had record as over 420 lapwing chicks fledged into adults. In the winter months the sky can be filled with tens of thousands of wildfowl, which make an unforgettable sight of cloud-like murmurations and flocks in formation.
In 1991 Natural England designated Elmley a National Nature Reserve under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and we work closely with Natural England to ensure the conservation of Elmley’s important habitats and to provide the opportunity for the public to experience and enjoy its special natural heritage. For more information on Natural England’s work please visit their website.
They also manage the Natural England Swale National Nature Reserve on the eastern side of Sheppey.