In recent years rising costs and cheap imports from the continent meant the Nurseries became no longer viable and were closed leaving the land and ageing equipment behind. Seeing an opportunity the staff and volunteers of the steam museum have been working with the Bloom family on an ongoing project to take the estate back to nature.
This project involves many aspects, one of which is removing the poly tunnels used when the nursery was operating. This has created large areas of open ground which you will see on your journey. These areas presented a great opportunity and have been ploughed and sown to wild flower in the summer months to the great benefit of the extensive wildlife living in the grounds, including some interesting and rare species. We now have a pair of red kites nesting which are often seen hunting, not to mention a large population of deer, owls, bats, partridge, native and dark coloured Japanese pheasants. There are also incredible variations of insect life which all go towards creating a thriving eco system. Much more work has also been done rejuvenating the ditches creating a great habitat for endangered water voles, plus over 30 bird and bat boxes for finches to barn owls.
You will notice that many other parts of the land by the railway are being used to graze livestock including cows, rare breed sheep (look out for the lambs in the early part of the season!) and sometimes several horses. Some of the old buildings which look like they are empty have also been given a new lease of life and now provide housing for bee hives in order to pollinate the large flower meadows we have created.