Explore the gardens of Ashton Grange in support of Cheshire Wildlife Trust

c. Rachel Bradshaw

Explore the impressive gardens, woodlands and new wildflower meadow at Ashton Grange, in Ashton Hayes, on Sunday (5th July). The garden is being opened by Kate and Martin Slack for the second year in support of Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

To limit numbers and keep everyone safe, all visitors must purchase a timed entry ticket in advance from www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2020-07-05-ashton-grange-open-g….

The present owners bought the property in 2015 and have nearly completed a major restoration project designed to benefit wildlife.

Much of the work in the garden area, approximately 3 acres, has involved the opening up of views by the removal of trees and much rampant rhododendron ponticum.  Several mature specimen trees, such as Tibetan cherry, handkerchief tree and a monkey puzzle tree have been uncovered during these clearance projects, which is both exciting and rewarding.”

In autumn 2018, a wildflower meadow, approximately one acre, was sown with the help of Cheshire Wildlife Trust. This established well in its first year and it is hoped that more species will appear this year.  In December 2018 a new three acre native woodland was planted and this will be opened to visitors for the first time this year. In the garden and woodland there are tree carvings by Simon O'Rourke including two new carvings for 2020, “Sylvia” and “Quercus”.

“We’re very excited that Kate and Martin have offered to open their stunning and extensive wildlife-friendly garden for us for the second year running.  It’s a beautiful setting which will provide lots of inspiration for gardeners as well as a lovely afternoon out.  The pond, woodland and of course the wildflower meadow we helped to establish are just a few of the highlights to look out for,” said Jo Darlington, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust runs a ‘My Wild Garden Award’ scheme, of which Ashton Grange is a proud recipient. “The scheme is open to everyone. It doesn’t matter how big or small the outdoor space, as long as it is possible to showcase what has been done to help wildlife,” said Jo Darlington. “This might be through creating a mini wildflower meadow, avoiding using harmful chemicals or building insect hotels.”

Entries to the scheme receive a plaque, certificate and gardening booklet. Further details about the ‘My Wild Garden Award’ and how to apply can be found on their website: www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/mywildlifegarden.

Event information following government guidelines:

Plants will be available for donations.  There will be no refreshment sales but visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics.  Please note that toilet facilities will not be available.

To limit numbers and keep everyone safe, you can only visit by purchasing timed entry tickets in advance. Entry costs £6 per person and children under 16 are free. For more details and to buy your tickets,  visit www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2020-07-05-ashton-grange-open-g…