Category: Latest News

Getting to know the Parkland

This 12 hectare greenspace is an oasis of calm and tranquility in an otherwise densely built up area. A short stroll into the Parkland and you instantly start to relax and breath more easily, you are surrounded by tall grasses, brambles, trees and wildflowers getting ready to bloom. The site is made up of a mosaic of different habitats from the wild lower Marshlands to the higher grasslands and young developing woodland. The Parkland is classed as a Local Wildlife Site (LWS) and also has historic significance with a Grade II* listing from Historic England.

The Parkland has largely been left unmanaged since the estate was sold in 1969 with little work been done and so it now feels a bit neglected and quite wild. We plan to carry out a number of habitat improvements to enhance the site for wildlife and improve the experience for its visitors. 

Nuthatch (photo by Neil Aldridge)

 

 

We are busy getting to know the Parkland and would love to hear from you. We want to know what wildlife you see here.

Do you regularly admire the birds? Have you seen any owls?

Caught a glimpse of a fox or badger? We would love to know!

Please get in touch and send us your stories and pictures.

 

 

Do you remember what the Parkland used to be like in the past?

Did you play here as a child or have your grandparents told you stories about the park?

Maybe they would go hunting for horse chestnuts or picnics on the grassland?

Do they remember what the Avenue of Trees looked like before it became wild? Or have stories about the ponds?

 

 

 

I look forward to hearing from you all soon!

Email us at : CastleBromParklandInfo@gmail.com

 

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We’re recruiting…

Yes, even as the national health situation worsens we, at the Gardens, are optimistic enough to be looking to the future and recovery.

With the help of both government and lottery funding we are looking for help to keep the Gardens thriving and growing.

The 3 posts are below – please click on the links for further information and application processes.

  • Project Manager – Parkland Project (Lyric – Green Recovery Fund)  (12month full time contract) Click here  .pdf  or  Word
  • Outdoor Visitor Experience contract  (3 months plus, freelance). Click here .pdf  or Word 
  • Finance Officer/Manager. (fixed term, 2 days per week flexible). Click here .pdf or Word

Most of these posts will have to begin in ‘working from home’ mode and the initial interview processes are likely to be virtual too.

However, we are currently not delaying making these appointments.

Please share this information with those who you think might be interested

 

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Fun and Frolics in the Gardens this August!

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Staycations at the Gardens

August in the Gardens is so packed with lovely activities, performances and treats there is surely no reason to risk those queues and crowds by going any further afield.

In the ‘New Normal’ we have revamped some of the way we do things and almost all activities now will be ‘pre-booked’.

So, in addition to normal Day Entry and our popular picnic takeaway ‘Cream Tea in A Box’ we have for visitors delight;

First Songs musical sessions for babies and their grown ups and Relaxed Concerts by the renowned  B’Opera who create  beautiful music for tiny ears.

Yoga sessions with Yogi Clair  – two sessions in the outdoors follow by a cream tea.

We have so many charming spaces in the Gardens and we are really pleased to be able to use them to enhance these sessions – what a memory to be made! Baby’s first ‘move and groove’ under the heritage apple trees.

The size of the Archery Lawn of course allows us to spread out and keep safe while still enjoying live performances from great local theatre companies.

Tread the Boards based in Stratford and Heartbreak Productions based in Leamington are bouncing back from lockdown with specially adapted performances for the family audience

Tickets for Wind in the Willows and Alice in Lockdown will go on sale on this site by the end of this week.

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Re-opening! Dates and plans

The Gardens are re-opening!

Starting with 2 special weekends for Members Only:  6th/7th and 13th/14th June.

Opening to the general public will start on Wednesday 17th June (Wednesdays to Sundays).

We are really pleased to be able to welcome people back into the Gardens again.

We know spirits will be lifted by a wander – or a run- in the Gardens, but we will naturally be monitoring how we can manage safety.  Numbers will be limited and there are no activities planned at present. Family picnics will be welcome – please take home your rubbish – we cannot dispose of it at present.

Most of the Gardens’ staff are on furlough and we are managing a limited volunteer return. So, preparing for opening and stewarding is a big job- please bear with us.

Tickets, for the Members weekends and general opening from 17th , will be released on Wednesday 3 June.

Full details will be released next week.

More details

In order to open the Gardens safely, we have had to make some changes to how we welcome visitors.

Everyone MUST book in advance, including Members.  New booking time slots will become available each Friday at midday for the following week.

When you come, you will notice some differences to your usual visit:

  • The entrance courtyard will have separate ‘in’ and ‘out’ lanes.
  • The Visitor Centre will be closed.
  • Your pre-booked ticket and/or membership card will be checked in – contactless – from the wooden steps.
  • The Orangery will be selling limited takeaway refreshments.
  • Cards, gifts, jams and pickles will also be sold from here (1 person at a time in shop only)
  • All payments will be by contactless card only, or cash into a donation box (no change given).
  • For the time-being the mud kitchen will shut in line with Government guidance.
  • To maintain health standards there will be limited access to the Toilets.
  • All areas of the Gardens are open, but there are reminders to keep a minimum of 2m apart. Please Pause and make way for someone to pass on a narrow paths. Please respect this for the safety of  everyone.
  • Picnics are welcome – within the government guidelines. Please take your rubbish home – we cannot dispose of it, at present.

All arrangements have been risk assessed but will be constantly reviewed and may change without notice.

How to book

All visitors, including Members will need to book a ticket in advance.

We are sorry but there will be no ticket sales/bookings on the day.

We will post the link for booking the first week on Wednesday 3 June on our website, Facebook page and in our email newsletter.

A limited telephone booking system will be in place for those unable to book online. Telephone booking can be made on Thursday and Friday mornings 11am – 1pm. We can take credit card numbers over the phone.

The process will be as follows:

  • Please book one ticket per person, except for children aged five or under as they don’t need a ticket.
  • Currently the tickets will be for the whole day – but a limited number of tickets will be sold for the day.
  • New opening times 10.30 -4.30pm. We plan to introduce regular early evening openings later.
  • Dogs on leads are welcome.
  • Please note: we are not currently accepting two for one cards or other cards at present, we will keep this under review. RHS members need to book in advance.

 

 

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Tulips 2021- Thank You!!

Thanks to our lovely supporters we have hit, and exceeded, our target to ensure we can buy our spring bulbs next year!

Whoopee! That really is a great relief to our gardeners, who are always thinking seasons and seasons ahead.

Your help now, and in the future, really will make a difference to the Gardens’ survival.

Did you know it costs over £550 per day – every day of the year to keep the Gardens running smoothly, so knowing our plant purchases for next year are safe really helps. Thanks again.

The Gardeners have just taken delivery of the summer bedding for this year- from our excellent local professional supplier Baginton’s.

The cosmos, zinnia, salvia, pelargoniums etc are all looking bright and full of vigour – our visitors may have missed Spring – lets hope Summer is not lost.

Without our regular volunteers it will take a little longer for these to go in, though. We also lost all our nursery and propagation spaces 18 months ago when the hotel decided it wanted to nullify a license agreement – so the plants are distributed around in tiny space and we have nowhere to propagate many of our own plants these days 🙁

Looking back and looking forward:

 

 

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dragons tongue 2020

the dragon arises..

Dracunculus vulgaris:  the Dragon lily

It’s arrived! Also known as ‘snake lily’ and ‘devil’s tongue’ -we can see why.

We’ve been lucky with warm springs of recent years and has given us quite a few years of spectacular moments.

It grows wild in the eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans.

The flower is also noted for its foul smell of rotting flesh.
Flies are attracted to the smell, but this is no flesh eating dragon; the flies just serve as a  pollinator for the flower. Obviously a successful adaptation which has helped this weird plant survive.
I wonder if the flower will last until we can open the gates for all to see?
In the meantime…
dragon lily in full mode 2020
dragons tongue 2020
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