The land around Mottisfont has been shaped and cultivated for many centuries. However, it was really the Mill family, Georgian landowners, who laid the framework for today’s garden, with its extensive pleasure grounds, riverside walks and fine trees. Each owner has made their mark on the landscape and gardens creating a great mix of formal lawns and specialist spaces such as the walled garden and winter garden.
We have a huge variety of different trees here, including one of the largest plane trees in the UK.
Planted with shrubs and perennials, combining rare specimens with familiar plants used in unusual ways.
The Walled Garden houses the national collection of old fashioned rose designed by Graham Stuart Thomas.
There is nothing more peaceful than taking a stroll by the river, and we are really lucky to be situated next to the beautiful River Test.
The River Test is a fantastic example of a chalk stream. The water enters the river through chalk springs, giving us beautifully pure, clean water, that maintains relatively stable temperatures and flow rates.
At Mottisfont, we have a specialist River Keeper, the only role of it's kind within the National Trust, who tends to the river that surrounds our property.
Providing that they are well managed, chalk streams provide wonderful habitats for a huge variety of species. Lush marginal fringes provide habitat for all manner of terrestrial insects and are vital in the reproductive cycle of river flies, which in turn provide food for the fish. Abundant weed growth in the river itself gives young fish a safe place to hide and overhanging trees and bushes provide cover for larger fish.
The results of the work are clear to see both on the banks and in the river; otters, water voles, kingfishers, grebes and the rare southern damselfly all thrive here. Numbers of juvenile salmon have increased dramatically, alongside a stable population of wild brown trout and at least 11 other freshwater fish species from tiny minnows and bullheads to huge pike.
Why not try and spot a few on your next visit?