The Gardens

The two-acre formal gardens are laid out to lawns and flowerbeds; there is a large variety of interesting plants including many species of clematis and rose. This landscaped area exists on several levels and features three ponds stocked with many aquatic plants; there are plans to extend the formal garden to incorporate a fourth pond with a small island at its centre.

The garden is bordered by a meandering stream and overlooked by a thickly wooded slope; there is circular walk around this wood from which one can catch glimpses of the house and grounds. In addition, a public footpath runs through the property and allows access out of the valley into the surrounding countryside.

Leading on from the formal area are eighty acres of pastureland and a large well stocked fishing lake John de Marwood Puddle.

The mature woodlands are predominantly oak, ash and chestnut, with an understorey of hazel, holly and elder, providing nesting sites for a variety of birds including buzzards and tawny owls. In springtime there are wild orchids and carpets of bluebells. The stream and ponds provide habitats for moorhens, mallards, geese, pied and grey wagtails, kingfishers, herons, frogs, toads, newts, dragonflies and fish.

Further downstream there are boggy areas which are ablaze with yellow flag irises in the springtime; a pair of ravens can regularly be seen patrolling the valley and merlins have been spotted flying across. Around the buildings housemartins and swallows nest and woodpeckers visit the lawns. In fact, more than seventy species of birds can be observed without even leaving the valley! A complete checklist is available to visitors.