To visit the Gardens, Gallery and House, you no longer need to pre-book a timed admission slot online (simply purchase gardens admission on arrival). Summer Late openings take place every Wednesday evening.
Some good news from the gardens: our gardeners Ben and Claire have been noticing that there are many more goldfinches at Hestercombe than usual. And rather incredibly for this people-shy species, one is even nesting in a standard rose on the Victorian Terrace! If you have a keen eye for bird spotting, then you may be able to just catch a glimpse on your next visit.
Claire says, “the reason for the increase is the lack of gardening and tidying. With a massive decrease in garden staff some areas have been let go, and this means more seed which is the goldfinch’s favourite food. We’ve particularly noticed them on the hemlock waterdroplet which would normally have been strimmed – it turns out that it’s a favourite food source of goldfinches. The effects of lockdown on nature are making us have a little rethink of how we manage areas in the future to help support more diverse species.”
Find out more about Goldfinches on the RSPB website.
One other bizarre consequence from the lockdown: we now seem to have a courgette plant growing in the children’s play area!