A Wildlife Sanctuary

Flatford Mill, the iconic setting for Constable’s Hay Wain. This beautiful location, nestling along the south facing bank of the river Stour in Suffolk, sets the scene for our RSPB garden project. Designed by Catherine Heatherington and Alex Johnson.

RSPB wanted a garden that could be used to teach, inspire and demonstrate the importance of domestic gardens as homes for wildlife in an era where natural habitats are diminishing.

A planting scheme was created to provide colourful flower borders full of nectar and pollen, a small wildflower meadow buzzing with life, a young apple orchard, woodland garden and a kitchen garden all with the aim of promoting wildlife habitation. Bird boxes and benches were added with raised wooden walkways and observation decks for pond dipping and picnicking.

The winding path with naturalistic planting gives a sense of raw natural beauty. We used local craftsmen to create beautiful natural hazel and willow spiling, which features in the kitchen garden, where Marigolds tumble over the edge, planted as a companion plant for the Tomatoes.

The aim of the garden is to inspire visitors to take home an idea or part of this scheme and use them in their own garden. If enough people do so we can have a huge impact on the wider landscape.


special features

Wildlife garden

Family friendly features

Naturalistic planting scheme

Educational and Inspirational

Kitchen garden

Wildflower meadow

In its first season, the garden already looks stunning, and has provided inspiration and enjoyment to the large number of visitors who have passed through its gates this year. The quality of workmanship is of the highest standard throughout and the project was delivered on time and on a tight budget. You and your team were always approachable and communications have been excellent. The garden stands as a testament to your expertise, hard work and dedication.

Paul Forecast, RSPB Regional Director, Eastern England.