August/September 2022 update


August/September 2022 update


The trees are continuing to respond to the general lack of rain, by this premature falling of leaves as shown in the July/August update, which will probably affect the autumn colours.

In this month’s update we share some of the plans being made ready for the 2023 Bluebell Walk and Bates Green Garden.


Beatons Wood


Rather than working in the Wood, the following plans are being made ready for the 2023 Walk.


  • Remove some weak oak trees in the Millennium Avenue, thus allowing the remainder to expand.

  • Remove some hornbeam in the Memorial Glade to enhance the view from the four seats.

  • Emma is growing wild violet plants to supplement those already established in Millennium Avenue.

  • Remove weed grasses in Millennium Avenue to improve the vistas of wild daffodils, fritillaries and violets.

  • Dig ‘French Drains’ across the path by the Upper Pond and steepest part on the exit path for when rain is heavy. (These are perforated pipes laid in rubble below the surface.)

  • Add pea gravel along paths where puddles form, minimising mud and preventing trampled bluebells.

  • To improve sight of bluebells remove some lower branches of hornbeam and suckers.

  • Finish removal of young brambles, docks, wild raspberries, nettles other than in the ‘Wild Area’.

  • Pete Goldsmith, our resident photographer, to erect a time lapse camera to record the bluebells emerging for the website.

  • Pete to erect a night/day camera to record what, if anything, uses the wildlife piles (loose structures of decaying logs and branches), again for the website.

  • Ask Paul Gibson of Films@49 to complete the missing video ‘Beatons Wood looking all green before the Wood Anemones appear’ which would complement the other three in the series on our GALLERY page.


Wildflower Meadow


The meadow is being managed on a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme (HLS – see below) to increase the diversity of wild flowers, which means it cannot be grazed by animals after the first of January, until it is cut for hay in August, so then sheep can stay there until the end of December.


Last year due to so much rain in August, the meadow could not be cut until September!  Because the grass had been flattened by the wind and rain, it was not cut as low as expected. As the wildflower seeds benefit when germinating where there is little residue old grass,  it meant that this year the display of wildflowers where not as abundant as 2001, but that is now thankfully being remedied.  We cut the field early in August as planned, but the standing grass was virtually hay due to the weeks of extreme heat. This meant it was all baled up within 48 hours of cutting, the fastest and easiest haymaking at Bates Green since I started farming here in 1959!


We still had some residue of old grass that was flat on the ground, so we have had it mown and collected and tipped. 

Mowing the meadow   Tipping grass


The amount collected I think is phenomenal, which if the baler could have collected, would have amounted to several extra bales.




Who would expect to pick blackberries in August!

  Blackberries in August


John McCutchan


HLS - Higher Level Stewardship is part of an agri-environment scheme that provides support in return for delivering environmental management of the land. HLS aims to deliver significant environmental benefits in high-priority situations and areas and is tailored to local circumstances.


Bates Green Garden


The recent dry conditions in the garden will be used to our advantage in the Middle Garden and the team have an exciting project planned.  With climate change now a reality it is important that gardens adapt whilst still providing suitable habitats for all the wildlife contained within. Steve and his colleague have made a good start with the trusty digger and already much has changed. Come along to see how it develops, we are open every Wednesday until the end of October.

  Digging in Middle Garden


Carolyn was particularly fond of her Cyclamen hederifolium and so we all celebrate when they emerge in the Woodland Garden.  The original corms came from Carolyn’s mother many years ago and they have been bulking up ever since.  They are strictly organised colour-wise, pink under the magnificent oak and white nestling beneath the old Bramley.  Every year we are required to move a few around and this year will be no exception.

Pink cyclamen   White cyclamen


Emma Reece - Head Gardener

You can book a visit to Bates Green Garden at




This message was added on Wednesday 7th September 2022

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