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Gardens of Easton Lodge near Great Dunmow holding open day on Sunday June 18

An expert biologist will be on hand to help identify bugs in the lily pond, under logs and in the grasses when the Gardens of Easton Lodge holds an open day on Sunday June 18.

There will be a range of nature activities for visitors, young and old, to enjoy, including bug hunting, wildflower identification and maybe some dissection too while the Essex Bat Group, Essex Wildlife Trust and RSPB will be attending. There will also be a nature-themed children’s trail and craft activities plus plant and craft stalls.

Woodwind of Stortford will be performing music with a nature theme and visitors can challenge themselves to name that tune as they sit and relax in the sunshine – hopefully - or listen while enjoying tea and homemade cake or even perhaps sing along while playing croquet.​​​​​​

Waterlilies on the pond at Easton Lodge
Waterlilies on the pond at Easton Lodge

The gardens are a lovely haven for nature – the flower beds, trees, ponds and wildflower areas provide habitats and food for a huge range of insects, reptiles, bats, birds and mammals. During the topsy-turvy cold and dry spring there have not been large numbers of bumblebees and butterflies, but the gardens are now home to chaser dragonflies and damselflies and there have been lots of newts.

Volunteers came across a grass snake warming itself on the top of a lavender hedge and have disturbed a hare in the car park while the local deer continue to make the gardens their home after the gate has been closed.

In June the gardens are quietly colourful. There are roses in the borders, trees and hedge. In Peto’s Italian garden visitors may catch the unusual voodoo lily in flower and the helianthemum, nepeta and day lilies accentuate the structure of the garden while the waterlilies grace the pond.

Go on a bug hunt at the open day on Sunday June 18
Go on a bug hunt at the open day on Sunday June 18

The walled kitchen garden flower border has spectacular christophii alliums while orchids, foxgloves and poppies have made homes for themselves around the gardens on grassy banks or in tucked-away corners.

The gardens open at 11am (last entry 4pm) and close at 5pm on the open day. Refreshments will be available, including bacon and cheese rolls, hot and cold drinks and homemade cakes. Dogs on leads are welcome and visitors are allowed to bring their own picnics.

For more information go to www.eastonlodge.co.uk. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the gardens’ website or at www.Trybooking.com.

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