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 six 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
- Fallen acorns from the many oak trees around the castle in the autumn
- Soapwort and lungwort in the Claremont garden
- A hollow tree that's great for hide & seek
- Bugdiam Castle - our new insect hotel
- Woad and green alganate in the newly created dyeing garden
- Demoiselle dragonflies hovering over the moat
On Friday 16 May, some of our resident Daubenton's bats flew into the record books by giving birth to their pups. Our roost often sees early deliveries of bats but this year the warm weather has brought the delivery date forward. Visitors may be lucky to see a baby bat if it drops from the roost, but they can certainly be heard chattering in the towers above the gatehouse. Come and have a listen.
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 newly installed, insect friendly Bugdiam Castle where you can see, with a little bit of exploration, the many residents who are enjoying their luxurious new home. Don't forget to return your kit and claim your sticker for your Adventure Scrapbook.
Signs of summer
We have many pairs of mallards resident here and this year we've seen a few broods of ducklings nervously make their way to the moat for their first swim. Our largest brood of 11 ducklings are growing up fast but you can still spot them by their immature plumage and tendency to stick together. See how many ducklings you can spot, or buy some duck food and feed the ducks and fish.
The bats are back
Come and see our bat roost, listen to the sounds and watch for the new arrivals.
The bees in our two new hives are busy making honey for us to sell in our shop.
Bugdiham Castle has opened its doors to its first guests in the grounds. Come and find them.
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.