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West Sussex – Creating a Dead Hedge


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Yasmin Mathieson, the Head Gardener, is RHS trained and has several years of experience working as a gardener for private homes and the Knepp Castle Estate. She works closely with the garden owner, Antonia Boulsien, in the planning and re-design of this wonderful restoration project.

After decades of neglect, Shermanbury Place was in a serious state of dilapidation and has recently been taken in hand by Antonia Boulsien. The house and gardens are now in the early stages of restoration to their former glory as a private home and as an events, education and arts venue. The 10 acre garden includes a walled Victorian kitchen garden, fruit orchards, a Victorian water garden, a herbaceous border, an alpine rockery, a rookery and topiary, much of which is being re-discovered and brought back to life.

This practical skills day will focus on creating a dead hedge.

Not only will the dead hedge provide privacy for the house and gardens from the bridleway users, but it will create essential habitats for hedgehogs, nesting birds and insects. We have had to take out a lot of overgrown neglected trees because the root systems have been disrupting foundations to the buildings. The tall branches have taken down power and telephone lines during storms. Although Shermanbury is already very blessed with abundant wildlife (eg: owls, cuckoos, dung beetles, woodpeckers, kingfishers, nightingales, butterflies), there is always MORE we can do to help balance the ecology of the garden and estate, thereby working in harmony with our farming practices.

Creating dead hedges in the garden will give nature a helping hand and restore some of the habitats that have been depleted.

10am: Arrival, tea/coffee
10.15am: A walk around the garden with Yasmin and Antonia.
11am Instruction and practical session
1pm: Break for lunch
2pm: Practical session
4pm: Depart

The cost of this practical skills day is £30. Please bring a packed lunch and water bottles. Clean and sharp secateurs. Suitable footwear and gloves. Warm layers of clothing and wet weather gear if necessary.

Event Details

Date: April 23, 2024

Start time: 10:00

End time: 16:00