What happens to all the fallen leaves at Blickling Estate?

A close up of autumn leaves on a tree

Each year millions of leaves fall from thousands of trees across Blickling gardens and parkland. Varied species, including oak, beech, lime, oriental plane and sycamore, all contribute to this important process.

Over 500 of Blickling Estate's largest trees on the preservation register, all of which are at least two metres high and one metre in circumference. Incredibly, three times as many smaller trees are not on the register and with the average oak tree at Blickling holding up to 700,000 leaves, you can but imagine the vast quantity that fall each year. 

Enjoy a stroll through the autumn leaves at Blickling Estate.
A family walks through woodland in autumn.
Enjoy a stroll through the autumn leaves at Blickling Estate.

Composting

Luckily, these leaves don't go to waste. Nearly all are collected and taken to compost bays, where they are mixed with grasses and other natural waste. This is a laborious process that most garden staff and volunteers take part in throughout all seasons to keep the garden looking immaculate.

Recycling

However, after just eighteen months, the decomposed leaves become a high quality, black-gold compost. This excellent fertiliser is then redistributed back on to our herbaceous borders, encouraging new growth whilst still preserving many of our existing plants.  

Autumn challenge

There are some incredible views across the estate and great opportunities for you and your family to play in the leaves. Why not even get creative and make a leaf crown? We're looking for budding nature explorers to share there snaps of their autumn exploits using the hashtag #NTAutumnChallenge. 

With leaves big and small at Blickling Estate, why not see if you can fashion a crown or fancy headdress?
A little girl holds up a large leaf.
With leaves big and small at Blickling Estate, why not see if you can fashion a crown or fancy headdress?

Seasonal delights

As the trees start to turn towards the end of September, come and see a stunning display of autumn colour in the garden until early November. Relax with a take-away hot drink and a piece of cake and soak up the last of the summer sun in one of our many beauty spots around the formal gardens. 

Warm up with a steaming hot drink
Two National Trust Thermos mugs steaming on grass
Warm up with a steaming hot drink