Natural Surroundings has a great variety of things to see and do, all based on our mission: to promote wildlife-friendly gardening and the enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of the natural world. We encourage you to spend time and really explore our eight acres, and as well as our spacious riverside hide there are lots of places to sit and enjoy the ambiance. The terrain is gentle although often sloping, and in keeping with our philosophy, many of the paths are grass or woodchip. They can be wet any time of year, especially after rain, but almost everywhere is accessible dry-shod with a decent pair of outdoor shoes.
The Tea Garden is a wonderful place to sit and relax with a drink and a bite to eat. It is also home to many interesting and attractive trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, including the Poppy Garden and a couple of ‘micro-meadows’ planted into half barrels. Other attractions include the Pond Dipping area and the Chalet.
Dating from the First World War, this wooden building houses a small wildlife library as well as occasional exhibitions. It is also home to our Harvest Mice, which are great favourites with everyone that visits: beware, you may fall in love!
Natural Surroundings is a great place for children to explore and enjoy the natural world. The Harvest Mice in the Chalet are a great favourite, as is pond dipping in the Tea Garden. Further afield there is lots more to see. The Kitchen Garden and The Cage have a selection of insectivorous plants (as well as other, more sinister, inhabitatnts), The ‘Un-nature Trail’ down by the river is great for small children, as is the ‘Flora for Fauna’ garden and the Human Badger Sett. We also devise a variety of trails and scavanger hunts to encourage children (and their parents) to look around them and observe just a little bit harder.