What’s been happening at Hertmonceux Castle Estate this winter?

The wetlands have seen great change this season. Red Lily pond has been opened up and cleared of sections of scrub, creating a patchwork of shaded and light areas; a real bonanza for reptiles and other wildlife.

The long awaited pond work has begun! De-silting work using large machinery is currently in progress at the Red lily pond and set to be completed this summer in Snipe pond, behind the folly.

Before this all began, the ponds were Elecro-fished in order to prevent fish from being harmed. These were then transported to the moat. Species found included Rudd, Roach, Eels, Carp and ghost Koi Carp.

The Rhododendron has been hacked back in certain areas to allow regeneration of native plant species and better drainage of the ground. Though they can be pretty, these sub-tropical plants can be very invasive. They tend to out-compete other plants for light, also spreading fungal disease, which our native flora has no tolerance to.

We are now preparing for the public opening this April 3rd. The work mainly involves neatening up damaged trees, making everything safe, wood-chipping the paths, mowing and strimming. The last of tree felling and hedge-cutting is now complete so we cause no disturbance to nesting birds.

The team has been doing well, Joe has just become an NPTC accredited tree surgeon, Kallum and Kevin have earned their Intermediate Apprenticeships in Environmental Conservation from Plumpton College.

We look forward to welcoming you back in to our Gardens and Grounds this spring and summer.

From all the team at Herstmonceux Castle