Nature all around
The castle, moat and grounds provide some excellent and unusual habitats for wildlife. The Claremont herb garden is really taking shape so take time to see and smell the plants that would have been used within the household for cooking and house-keeping. We've also extended the garden and now have an area stocked with plants that would have been used for dyeing in medieval times. Come and take a look, you'll be surprised at what you'll see and learn.
At Bodiam we've five species of bat that regularly visit, from the brown long-eared to pipistrelle and Natterer's. Of course, we're a firm favourite with the Daubenton's bats, which love to hibernate in old stone structures such as moated castles. Keep your eyes open when you visit and you may see one or two bats roosting in the castle.
Look out for:
- The biggest fish in the moat
- Ladybirds in the castle
- Soapwort and lungwort in the Claremont garden
- A hollow tree that's great for hide & seek
- Bugdiam Castle - our insect hotel
- Woad and green alganate in the newly created dyeing garden
- Demoiselle dragonflies hovering over the moat
- Majestic buzzards soaring high above the castle towers
- Listen for the sounds of woodpeckers and cuckoos
Ducklings take first swim
Visitors to the castle on 11 May were rewarded by the sight of our first brood of ducklings in the castle courtyard. The brood of 5 were found in the south-east tower at the beginning of the day. As the sun came out so did the ducklings and Mum, of course. After spending time pecking around Mum took them to the postern gate. One by one they flopped from the ledge into the moat waters below.
Our ducks are working hard to look after their young at present so why not treat them to a box of nutritious Duck Food. Available from the Ticket Office or Castle View Coffee Shop.
Duck Food: £1.25 per box
Have fun outdoors
We have lots of space around the castle for you to explore and discover the natural surroundings and wildlife here.
You could hire one of our bug hunting kits and head off to find our insect friendly Bugdiam Castle where you can see, with a little bit of exploration, the many residents who are enjoying a luxurious home in the grounds.
Don't forget to return your kit and then you can claim a sticker for your 50 Things to Do before you're 11 3/4 Adventure Scrapbook.
Last May, some of our resident Daubenton's bats flew into the record books by giving birth to their pups in mid May. Our roost often sees early deliveries of bats and so we've got our fingers crossed that we'll have the same success this year. However, our resident bat expert says that the recent cold weather may hamper our chances of early births. We'll keep you posted on how we're doing.
Once they've arrived, visitors may be lucky to see a baby bat if it drops from the roost, but they'll certainly be heard chattering in the towers above the gatehouse. Come and have a listen.
New bats awaited
We're eagerly awaiting our new bats. Come and see if you can spot one.
It's spring and our bees are buzzing back into action. Bodiam honey is on sale in the shop.
Explore the grounds and find Bugdiham Castle, bug. Take a look and see whose in residence.
A garden to dye for
Designed to compliment the Claremont herb garden, our dyeing garden was planted out in 2013, with plants such as the well-known woad, which produces a blue dye although it has brilliant yellow flowers, and the iris-like orris, which produces a black/blue dye. Take a look at how the plants have grown and find out more.