The Stumpery

One of the most popular features here at Burnby Hall Gardens is the stumpery. It’s a relatively recent addition to the Gardens and was inspired by Prince Charles’ stumpery on his estate at Highgrove.

So, what exactly is a stumpery? Well, it is a garden feature that is constructed using mainly the upturned roots of large trees.  The roots are arranged artistically to create a feature that is architecturally pleasing to the eye and, once the stumps are in place, plants are used to break up the strong lines and soften the angles.

A variety of birds are attracted to the site, including blackbirds, blue tits, robins and wrens, which can often be seen using the upright roots of the stumps as perches from which to sing. It also attracts grey squirrels, wood mice, pygmy shrews and hedgehogs, and there are occasional signs that rabbits and foxes frequent the woodland.

The dead wood of the stumps provides a really great habitat for a variety of insects. These, in turn, create food for the birds and mammals.  To assist with this process, we created hibernation pods around the stumpery for insects and mammals. These are packed with reeds cut from the lake which create a good habitat for hibernating creatures in the winter.

Finally, we have the carvings. Throughout the stumpery you will find carved faces. You don’t see them all at first, but slowly they seem to appear here and there, adding an extra and unusual element to what is a very special place.