Responding to climate change at Ham House, Surrey
The gardens at Ham House in Surrey are rooted in centuries of history but it's now that they face their biggest challenge.
Extreme weather, unpredictable rainfall, drought and flooding are all taking their toll on landscapes and buildings. Drier weather during spring is affecting blossom, fruit and young plants and has also seen an increase in pests and diseases. Soaring temperatures in the walled garden are drying out the soil and scorching plants that once thrived.
Ham House's position on the banks of the Thames also makes it vulnerable to flooding as heavy rainfall causes the river to overflow.
Our team is working hard to put in measures that will help the estate adapt to climate change. These include running irrigation systems that use rain collected from the house guttering, moving benches into the shade for visitors and changing the way we garden and plant.