• Taplow Court Estate

Taplow Court Estate

SGI at COP26 > Seeds of Hope and Action > Taplow Court Estate

Taplow Court Estate

Gardening in a changing climate – Taplow Court Gardens’ response.

Our changing climate presents us with many challenges and opportunities in the way we manage and maintain the gardens for our members, visitors and local wildlife.

Our aim is to create a contemporary, innovative, exciting and beautiful garden and doing so in the most environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

So, what have we been doing?


 

  1. We are planting a more diverse range of pollinator friendly plants with different flowering times. Our plant range is much more drought tolerant to reflect the longer, drier growing season and reducing the need for irrigation. This Mediterranean type planting will be much more resilient to our changing seasons.


  2. We are reducing our water use and installing water butts in various locations around Taplow Court.


  3. We recycle all our garden and kitchen waste, producing our own leaf mould compost and many tonnes of mulch that goes back onto the garden beds. This winter over 20 tonnes of mulch were spread over the beds in the Garden of Remembrance.

  4. We have a new garden nursery area for propagation of plants for the gardens and the growing on of young trees. In this area we have created three hugel beds and this spring we will be building two more. “Hugelkultur” is a centuries old eastern European method of mimicking natural nutrient recycling found in a woodland floor. Mounds are created by initially digging long trenches which are filled with woody material and then covered with plant waste, turf and compost. Hugel beds are excellent at retaining moisture, building soil fertility, provide a big surface area for growing and are great for recycling logs and branches which may otherwise have to be burnt.

  5. We are planting many trees across the estate. We have already planted many ornamental trees in the formal garden areas over the last few years, and now we have started a tree planting programme in the wider estate and so far have planted twelve tree circles in the north fields with over 300 trees, an avenue of 50 young oaks and this spring aim to plant over 200 trees on a cleared bank below the cedar walk. The new trees are predominantly native species such as oak, scots pine and birch. Our aim is to plant over a thousand trees over the next four years as gaps appear in the woodland cover around the estate.


  6. We are reducing, reusing and recycling wherever possible in the gardens. Our aim is to reduce the impact of garden machinery and fuel use particularly by reducing the areas of close mown turf to around the house and formal areas. Wherever we can let grass revert to meadow we will.

  7. Our wildflower meadow in the north fields are a great success. This site shows characteristics of lowland meadow and chalk grassland and are hugely important habitats for the conservation of biological diversity in England as there are estimated to be less than 6,000 hectares remaining in the UK. Over the last four years, through careful management of these 20 acres (approx. 8 hectares) we have seen an increase in native wildflower species and a dramatic increase in insect activity and diversity.


  8. The Taplow Court Nature Reserve is on Glenn Island, the narrow peninsular between the Boulters Lock weir on the River Thames and the Jubilee River. This area of wild woodland with special nesting areas is home to a variety of river birds. As well as commonly seen mallards, coots, moorhens, swans, grey heron and Canada geese, we also have mandarin ducks, kingfishers, little egrets, cormorants, great crested grebe and Egyptian geese in the area. In order to protect the wildlife in the reserve there is currently no public access.