Burncoose opens its hidden treasures for the Trust

Thursday 29th March 2018

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Open Gardens 2018 begins with a very special garden location, Burncoose House and Garden, home to the internationally famous Burncoose Nurseries, winners of over 20 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold medals.

The Trust has been given special access to the whole of this hidden treasure, including the recently refurbished Burncoose House and its immediate garden at Gwennap, Redruth, on Sunday 15th April from 11.00am to 4.00pm. There will guided walks of the garden and tours of the house.

Admission is £5 under 16s free. Pasties, cream teas, and beverages will be provided by Roddas, Crantock Bakery, and Cornish Coffee. Dogs are allowed on leads.

Burncoose House and Nurseries is the oldest part of the Caerhays Estate which is owned by the Williams family. The Williams family originally arrived in Cornwall in 1650 and settled at Burncoose in 1715. Successive generations were major players in the heydays of Cornish tin mining and for a period the world price of copper was set from the Burncoose office and the family employed 10,000 people within the Gwennap Parish alone.

Perched on a hilltop, Burncoose doesn't benefit from Cornwall's microclimates responsible for the flourishing valley gardens, yet it is still home to one of the most diverse ranges of plants in the region. Its sprawling woodland gardens and old flower garden are rich with the likes of camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons, as well as over 20 species of bamboo. The vast acreage is packed with prolific blooms all year round but in the spring there are drifts of snowdrops, primroses and wild violets, with daffodils and carpets of bluebells.

There are hard paths on which to navigate the extensive garden, these were once used for a pony and trap to take the owners around the estate. Today these provide good disabled access.

The nursery at Burncoose stocks over 3,500 varieties of ornamental trees, shrubs and other herbaceous plants. Specialties include camellias, magnolias, and rhododendrons, as well as many unusual and rare plants.

Chris Betty, Communications Officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust says,

“We are very excited that Burncoose has joined our Open Gardens scheme, and just know that it is going to be a delight for all those who visit it. Our scheme is now in its eighth season and we are hoping that this year will be even more successful. The money raised makes a huge difference to our important conservation work and we are just so grateful to all the garden owners who are taking part this year”.

The gardens all have a common theme of providing a haven for Cornish wildlife and the Open Gardens scheme raises vital funds for the Trust’s conservation work protecting Cornwall’s wildlife and wild places. Last year the figure was just short of £13,000.

Other gardens opening for the Trust in 2018 are: April 22nd Pedn Billy, Helford Passage; April 29th Higher Trenedden, Peakswater; May 13th The Old Rectory, Boscastle; June 3rd Little Park, Malpas; June 17th Lethytep, Lanreath; June 24th Arundell, Crantock; July 8th Meadowside, Trevarth; July 22nd Trevoole, Praze-an-Beeble; August 5th Trenarth, Constantine; September 2nd South Bosent, Dobwalls; September 16th Marsh Villa Gardens, Par.

The Caerhays Estate is the location for another exciting Cornwall Wildlife Trust event when they open their magnificent gardens and beach at Gorran, St. Austell, to the Trust’s Wildlife Celebration on Sunday 20th May. Special guests at this year’s Celebration will be Gillian Burke from Springwatch, and the student animation team behind PocketPals, an interactive wildlife app.