For our guests, the view from the Old Tractor Shed spans the incredible 1850s gravel pit, returned to grass once the steam railway line was completed in 1873. We have been working hard to protect and plant this area, adding willows and birches to the wetland base and hedgerow. Alongside the prolific bullrushes we’ve planted yellow marsh marigolds and blue iris to bring vibrant colour to the area where we see many ground nesting birds.
It felt only right to allow the top of the banks to grow wild to encourage as many wild flowers as possible and so this is the first year we have left the pit top unmown and ungrazed – we think this fluffy, flowery meadow with cow parsley, borage, dandelions, meadowsweet, daises and buttercups will look even better when hopefully our new addtions of cornflowers and poppies start to take. The bee highway runs straight across this area as they leave the orchard so it would be great to provide them with a bee snack bar!