Gardening with nature in mind

Beautiful gardens are one thing, but there’s nothing better than creating an environment that attracts a variety of wildlife just outside your own back door.

On Boxing Day naturalist Dr Chris Gibson will be at Wivenhoe House hotel to give an informative and entertaining talk about gardening with wildlife in mind, he’ll be scotching a few myths and sharing some easy tips to making your garden a haven for wildlife.

It’s ideal timing to get all gardeners galvanised for New Year plans, looking ahead to a Spring and Summer of wildlife wonders.

Chris is one of those lucky people who managed to combine his lifelong passion for natural history with his job, working for more than 30 years for Natural England, the Government’s advisor on nature conservation, until he took early retirement in October 2016.

Although originally from Yorkshire, Chris settled in Wivenhoe several years ago and has developed a thorough knowledge of the wildlife in this area, the array of birds on the river and the insects attracted by the woodland, including the Stag Beetle. He said: “This is one of the best places in the UK to see the Stag Beetle.  They are attracted by the dead wood left in the large gardens around here.

“In the winter it is well worth visiting the quayside at Wivenhoe. Curlews and Black-tailed Godwits are among the many varieties of birds overwintering here before heading back to the Arctic for the summer. People don’t realise how important the Essex coastline is to wildlife.
“You don’t have to go somewhere special to see exciting wildlife.  With a little thought you can persuade it to come to you. Every moment spent in your garden, wherever it is, can be your own wildlife safari.”

Chris’s other main interest is photography and his talk will be illustrated by some beautiful images to spur you to great things in your garden


find us, however you travel
By car:

Whether approaching Wivenhoe House from London and the South or Ipswich and the North via the A12, take the exit marked Colchester (A133). Follow the A133 towards Clacton, ignore the entrance to the Knowledge Gateway, continue along the A133 then take the B1028 for Wivenhoe before turning right into Boundary Road, then right again into Park Road. The entrance for Wivenhoe House is shared with the University of Essex but Park Road leads you through Wivenhoe Park and you will be able to see the glorious house from the road.

For Sat Nav please use CO4 3FA.

Download our PDF Map

By train:

Colchester station, Colchester Town station, Wivenhoe station and Hythe stations are all between 10-15 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Trains run between London (Liverpool Street) and Colchester station every 10-20 minutes. The journey takes around an hour. Also connect with Colchester from Norwich, Ipswich, Felixstowe & Harwich. Some trains from London (Liverpool Street) also stop at Wivenhoe Station. When travelling from the Clacton/Walton direction, alight at Wivenhoe or Hythe Stations.

By plane:

Stansted airport is approximately 45 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Helicopter pad coordinates are 603200/223900.