Kent walk of the month: April - Bedgebury Easy Access Walk
Wed Mar 23 00:00:00 GMT 2011
- Start: Bedgebury Pinetum
- End: Bedgebury Pinetum
- Country: England
- County: Kent
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub:
- Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 136
- Difficulty: Medium
Delight in a springtime stile-free stroll in the beautiful surroundings of Bedgebury National Pinetum, a world class collection of impressive conifers set against the dramatic backdrop of 2,000 acres of beautiful forest...
Bedgebury Easy Access Walk
Location: TN17 2SJ, near Goudhurst
Distance: 1.7 miles (2.7km), allow 50 minutes
OS Explorer Map: 136
Terrain: Mainly surfaced paths with some boardwalk
Step count: approximately 3,600
Parking: Parking available at Bedgebury Pinetum. Parking charge 8 per car
Facilities: Caf, bike hire, toilets - all provide good access and facilities for disabled users, including adapted bikes
Delight in a springtime stile-free stroll in the beautiful surroundings of Bedgebury National Pinetum, a world class collection of impressive conifers set against the dramatic backdrop of 2,000 acres of beautiful forest. The perfect place to take in the fresh air and shake off those winter blues!
Starting out at the car park follow the path down towards the lake. Following the path with the lake on your right you will enter the grounds of the Pinetum.
Pinetum means literally a specialised collection of pine trees and Bedgebury can definitely claim to be that. With nearly 10,000 trees and shrubs the Pinetum, it is the most complete collection of temperate conifers in the world; it is also an important site of ex situ conservation and a centre of excellence.
The Forestry Commission manage the National Pinetum. They aim to have a visually pleasing mix of conifers and broadleaved specimens contained in 350 acres of rolling Wealden countryside. The collection was started in the 1840's by the Beresford Hope family and was greatly improved following its acquisition by the Forestry Commission in 1925 when it became jointly managed with Kew Gardens. The planting scheme of William Dallimore, the first curator, largely kept all trees from the same genera together, whilst this was useful for comparing species it lead to an uninteresting landscape. The 1987 storm destroyed up to a third of the trees, this sad event provided an opportunity to replant withmixture oftrees to give a varied landscape. The forest now hosts a wonderful mixture of conifers, complimented by broadleaves, with wide open spaces that provide vistas and allow the trees to be fully appreciated.
As you walk around you will notice that many of the trees are labeled so you can easily identify the tree and some interesting facts like when it was planted and the tree family etc.
As you continue onwards you may come across other users of the park. Bedgebury is a great place to explore whether you are on-foot, bike or horseback. There are also guided walks that take place where visitors learn a lot more about the area led by the Friends of the Pinetum.
As you continue along the route you will pass by the entrance to Go Ape a fabulous outdoor adventure course for children and adults. Featuring zip-wires and rope bridges, adventurers scramble at great heights enjoying fantastic views of the surrounding forest and lake.
As you near the end of the walk why not visit the on-site caf? Or if its nice weather bring a picnic, there are plenty of places around the walk to stop for a snack, a flask of hot tea and a chance to take in this beautiful setting.
For more walks in Kent visit www.kent.gov.uk/explorekent