All about Old Hall Gardens
Tucked away behind Old Hall on Cowbridge High Street and adjacent to the Physic Garden, lie the tranquil grounds of Old Hall Gardens. Surrounded by the medieval Town Walls, this acre of land was originally the formal garden of the town house of the Edmondes family, built around 1740. Since 2005, the Walls and Gardens have been in the care of Cowbridge Charter Trust which has restored and maintained the walls and transformed Old Hall Gardens with encouraging biodiversity as its primary aim. Old Hall Gardens has been awarded the Green Flag for the last two years, a tribute to good environmental practice.
The Gardens work well in the context of Forest Schools because so much variety of habitat is on offer in a small area and are ideal for teaching purposes as they encompass:
- Mature trees (woodland) with some rare specimen trees, good for leaf and seed recognition, and home to many birds.
- Feeders and nest boxes supporting a range of birds.
- a vivid Wildflower meadow, packed with flowers native to the traditional hay field from spring to autumn.
- a large pond with newts and frogs (tadpoles in season), mallard, dragon flies, as well as marginal and water plants, good for recognition of watery denizens and creepy-crawlies.
- exuberant floral borders, most attractive to butterflies and moths• ferns and plants for shade
- the Dragon border based on the Sleeping Dragon sculpture and a Willow Cave.
- the Battlement Walk which features sun-loving Mediterranean plants, many of which have scented leaves.
- ancient structures, valuable as key to learning the historic and cultural background of the town
- 2 work books are available: one covering the biodiversity, the other the history, of the Gardens.
Experts on biodiversity, horticulture and history can be on hand to contribute to school visits.
There is an outside Story Space next to the Library which seats about 40 children and will have an all-weather awning later this year. In rain or very cold weather it is possible to arrange the use of an indoor classroom in Old Hall Community College.
Toilets are available in the Library and Old Hall.
Joint visits to include the Physic Garden next door can be arranged.
Please contact Linda Osborn
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