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Bluebells, bugs, bats and Jono Forgham at The Gardens of Easton Lodge Nature Day on Sunday May 22



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Visitors can enjoy the gorgeous spring flowers when The Gardens of Easton Lodge holds its annual Nature Day, writes its preservation trust's Jill Goldsmith.

The Little Easton venue's preservation trust is opening its gates from 11am on Sunday May 22.

The trust manages the gardens, which are Historic England grade II listed, to leave lots of space for nature, alongside the formal gardens, providing homes and plants and flowers for food for wildlife.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge (56512356)
The Gardens of Easton Lodge (56512356)

The first butterflies of the year are always special – the brimstones and orange-tips – and we have many others through the spring and summer. There are lots of bumblebee species and bee-flies, beetles, dragonflies and hummingbird hawkmoths too if you are lucky.

Essex Bat Group has identified seven species of bats which typically feed in the gardens. Earlier this year, one of the pipistrelles was clearly disoriented and flying around under the trees in broad daylight.

A huge range of birds frequent the gardens and many nest in the trees and bird boxes. Of course deer pass through too, unfortunately nibbling trees, bushes and plants we would rather they didn't eat.

Jono Forgham (56513910)
Jono Forgham (56513910)

The Indie's very own Nature Notes correspondent and local naturalist Jono Forgham will be leading a range of nature activities for children – and adults! – including bug hunts and dissection of owl pellets. And you won't want to miss an episode of MOTD – Jono's Moth of the Day!

We will also be joined by the Uttlesford Badger Group, Essex Bat Group and Essex Wildlife Trust while Bishop's Stortford Camera Club will display a range of their prize-winning photos, including wildlife images. The Trust's volunteers will display archive information on the Countess of Warwick's love of nature plus there will be guided tours and a trail for children.

Music will be provided by local folk duo Karen & Tony and there will be a range of stalls, including plants, jams and honey, woodturning and crafts.

Daisy's kiosk will provide local bacon, cheese and hummus rolls, delicious homemade cakes and hot and cold drinks.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge (56512362)
The Gardens of Easton Lodge (56512362)

The gardens will be open from 11am to 5pm on Sunday May 22, with last entry at 4pm. Tickets, priced at £5.50 for adults, can be purchased in advance at www.eastonlodge.co.uk, via our Facebook page and from trybooking.com.

They will also be available on the gate. Children get in free and dogs on leads are welcome.

The Gardens of Easton Lodge (56512360)
The Gardens of Easton Lodge (56512360)


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