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Goodnestone Park

The Manor House

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Goodnestone Park

Bonnington Cottage

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& Wildlife

Sustainable Gardening at Goodnestone Park

Sustainable management of the gardens is a core element of the estate. We do not use slug pellets, fungicides or insecticides. We make our own composts and mulches from plant waste produced within the garden and from The Old Dairy kitchen. In winter we harvest hazel and chestnut from the surrounding woods to use as plant supports and we use hay cut from nearby meadows to help protect plants such as bananas over the winter.

The vegetables in the walled garden are grown using the “No-Dig Method”. This involves the growing of vegetables in beds that receive a yearly application of home made compost and of course no soil cultivation. This allows the soil fauna to remain undisturbed therefore resulting in a healthy, fertile soil. Essentially we feed the soil and the soil feeds the plants. At Goodnestone, we aim to become a model for other gardeners to copy by promoting wildlife-friendly practices and sustainable gardening.

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natural diversity

The gardens and surrounding estate have always supported many native plants and animals. We are doing all we can to increase this natural diversity within the garden, either by changing management practices or creating new habitats.

These practices include managing our lawns differently. We use no herbicides or fertilisers on the lawns and we leave large areas of grass uncut during the summer. This provides a perfect habitat for butterflies such as the meadow brown. We manage our ponds for amphibians and invertebrates. Visitors can see toads, smooth newts and their numerous tadpoles moving amongst the water weed. We have recently been busy creating deadwood habitats for wildlife, such as dead hedges and woodpiles and putting up bird boxes. You may also come across solitary bee nesting boxes and piles of leaves and twigs for our hibernating hedgehogs. We also aim to dig a new wildlife friendly pond and create a habitat for stag beetles.


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Garden Background

When Brook and Margaret Fitzwalter inherited the estate in 1955, the gardens were in a state of neglect after the army requisitioned Goodnestone Park during the Second World War. Lady Fitzwalter and her Head Gardener, John Wellard, undertook the massive task of restoring the gardens. Over the last ten years, the Head Gardener, Paul Bagshaw, and the gardening team have strived to enhance and continue their hard work.

An increasing number of volunteers have also helped the team of gardeners. The team have renovated and redesigned many of the herbaceous borders using different criteria, such as drought tolerance, time of flowering, and flower colour. Recent new gardens include a small tropical garden, a pictorial meadow, and a small succulent garden.

The gardens

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Visiting us

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