Management for the benefit of the environment

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Coppice chestnut

This chestnut is 'harvested' every 10-15 years. A biomass heating system on the estate  means this chestnut can provide carbon-neutral heating to 19 properties in Godmersham, including all the heating and hot water requirements of the mansion. 

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Wetlands management

Wetlands next to the River Stour are managed to provide habitat for migratory waders. Breeding residents include lapwing, little ringed plover and sand pipers and this rather handsome lady shown with her seven cygnets. 

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Godmersham Down

The 'mound' behind the house is managed with minimal intervention to provide a habitat for the Black Veined Moth, Kentish Milkwort and a mix of wild orchids. Adders abound, and deer run free hiding in the coppice chestnut. 

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Birdlife

The tree above is obviously a favourite of a woodpecker; both Greater Spotted and Green wood peckers abound. 

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Hedges planted

Over 5km of hedges, over 25,000 trees, have been planted in the last 25 years,  hawthorn, hazel, dogwood, maple, crab apple. 

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Trees planted

Lime avenue planted to replace that lost in 1987's October storm

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Wildlife borders

Echium planted as a border around the arable crop, attractive to butterflies and bees. 

Owls at Godmersham, 2019/20

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Tawny Owl

Little Owl

Little Owl

c. Ben Ballard

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Little Owl

Little Owl

Little Owl

c. Ben Ballard

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Barn Owl

Little Owl

Barn Owl

c. Ben Ballard

The combination of hedgerows, wildlife borders around arable, minimal use of pesticides, zero use of artificial fertiliser on the grassland, encourage wild mammals, small reptiles and birds. Habitat attractive  for wood mice and short tailed vole attract predator species such as the owls, for whom there is attractive lodging in the ancient tree trunks on the estate.