Once a common sight along waterways in Britain, the Water Vole has undergone one of the most dramatic declines of any British mammal.
Britain’s fastest declining wild mammal, The Water Vole has been discovered living in one of the ponds at Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden, Kent.
Hole Park’s owner Edward Barham said “We were surprised to find that Water Voles are living in the Fountain Pond next to our house rather than in the more naturalised areas of the garden where we have a much larger pond with mud banks.”
Sadly, Water Voles have already disappeared from many parts of the country due to habitat loss and the introduction of the American Mink. Thankfully Wildlife Trusts are working hard to save the mammal by improving riverbank habitats, controlling Mink and being involved in Water Vole reintroduction schemes.
Visitors to Hole Park can also enjoy watching other wildlife around the gardens including butterflies, dragonflies and birdlife.
Visitors to Hole Park in the Summer months can enjoy the late summer blooms in the newly planted long border and the colourful reds, yellows and oranges of the exotic border. This is also the time of year to enjoy the later flowering Agapanthus, the Hole Park Blue.
Choose to take the circular woodland walk and along the route discover the delightful tree carving of a family of bears reaching for a honey pot.
Light lunches and delicious homemade cakes are available in the coach house where apple juice, local beer and homemade jam and honey produced from the fruit and bees on the Hole Park Estate can be purchased.
There is also a small plant stall.
Free parking for cars and coaches and conducted tours can also be arranged for groups by prior arrangement.
A circular network of hard paths enables visitors of all ages, including those who require a wheelchair, to enjoy the gardens. Wheelchairs may be reserved free of charge and there are full disability WC facilities.
Admission: £7.00 for adults and £1 for children (5 to 18). The gardens are open 11am to 6pm
Hole Park is situated 4 miles west of Tenterden on the B2086 between Rolvenden and Benenden.
Summer – 14 June to 31 October – Wednesdays & Thursdays
Autumn Sundays – 1, 8, 22 and 29 October 2017
All other times by appointment
01580 241344. Group bookings should be made in advance.Enjoy more Kitchen Garden reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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