Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden's ancient King Oak, believed to have been a sapling at the time of the Battle of Hastings and one of the oldest trees in Norfolk, has been given a 'trim' to ensure it's long-term health.
Four years ago, the King Oak's crown was suffering from die-back and was reduced in size to help stabilise the tree. The path was also moved away from the garden's champion tree to give it more breathing space. Visitors' feet were compacting the roots and suffocating the tree.
Matt Jordan, Fairhaven Garden's Head Forester explained: “We give the King Oak an annual health-check, along with regular visual inspections, looking for broken limbs and aggressive fungi. The tree has survived so long, because it was actively pollarded for many centuries and also grew next to a good supply of water. More recently, it has also responded well to the footpath being moved away from it's root system.”
Fairhaven Woodland Water Garden's gardeners and volunteers have embarked on their major winter leaf collection and dyke clearance project.
The gardening team collects all the autumn's fallen leaves, which are then deposited in retaining bays where they gradually rot and are recycled into nature's fertiliser – leaf soil. The leaf soil is put to work in the garden and is also sold in the plant sales area.
Ian Guest, Head Gardener, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden explained: “The leaf collection is an important annual job. Fairhaven has always been managed organically and the resulting leaf soil provides a rich fertiliser for the garden.”
When it comes to the holiday season, it is natural to want to get away from it all and take a short break from the stresses of your usual routine. It is also normal to be unable to afford such a luxury, as flights and hotels can cost a bomb, especially around the festive season.
There is a very realistic alternative out there though- how about a small break in your home country? Why not take a week off and travel to Norfolk, which is within close proximity to the sea for those crisp winter walks along the beach, and boasts the wealth of fresh local produce to really add a punch to your holiday menu. Staycations are cheaper for you and can do great favours for the local economy too. This year, The Telegraph reported that inquiries and bookings were up by approximately 25% in the peak summer months in Norfolk.
It’s Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden’s 40th birthday this month and visitors are invited to share in the garden’s birthday cake on Wednesday, April 15 and join a 40th anniversary tour on Sunday, April 19 with George Debbage, Head Gardener from 1975-2007.
Lord Fairhaven, Chairman of the Fairhaven Garden Trust will be cutting the special cake on Wednesday, April 15 at 1pm. The birthday cake will be shared with visitors on the day. Lord Fairhaven will also officially open the new Hydrangea Path, which is part of the West Garden restoration, the key project to mark the 40th anniversary. The Hydrangea Path has been designed to add colour in the garden during the summer months.
A young female red panda, born last September, and newly arrived at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens from Colchester Zoo, was welcomed to Norfolk with a gift of its favourite food, bamboo, which grows at nearby Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden.