What happens to all the fallen leaves at Blickling Estate?

Close up of frosty leaves on a log

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.

Here at Blickling Estate, we have over 500 of our largest trees on the preservation register. To qualify for this, all 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 total quantity that fall each year. 

One of the garden team drives a load of leaves to compost


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.

A large pile of compost


However, after just 18 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.  

See if you can spot some snowdrops emerging in our herbaceous borders
See if you can spot some snowdrops emerging in our herbaceous borders

This is simply one of the many fantastic processes that help us to preserve the estate for ever, for everyone.