Bedgebury National Pinetum - Marshal's lake autumn colour
David Jenner

About Bedgebury, the National Pinetum

About Bedgebury, the National Pinetum

Bedgebury National Pinetum is home to the largest pinetum in the world and it's important on a global scale for species conservation, scientific advancement and the understanding of conifers.

The mix of conifers and broadleaved specimens contained in 350 acres of rolling Wealden countryside is awe-inspiring in its size and grandeur. At the entrance to the pinetum, the visitor centre is situated beside the first of six lakes and ponds along the basin of Dallimore Valley. A series of paths wind through the valley, where you'll find an impressive stand of giant redwoods. The hillsides offer spectacular views of the tree collection and towards the northern boundary of the pinetum the iconic Marshal's Lake is surrounded by swamp cypress, which turn a glorious rusty red in autumn and deciduous dawn redwoods. 

Pinetum Explorer

Bedgebury's trees are now searchable! You can use our interactive map to explore the collection tree by tree or take a tour of the National Pinetum.

Bedgebury will be recognised as a world leading centre for conifer conservation and a place that connects people with trees.
Bedgebury's vision

Bedgebury's goals 

1) To protect and enhance the National Pinetum and its biodiversity and heritage value.

2) To lead and support global conifer conservation programmes that help protect biodiversity.

3) To provide opportunities to improve people’s understanding and appreciation of trees, inspiring them to take action to protect the natural environment and support our work.

4) To provide research opportunities to identify future forestry species to mitigate climate change and susceptibilities to pests and disease.

5) To provide opportunities to improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

6) To pursue opportunities that improve our financial performance in order to support our conservation, learning and wellbeing programmes.

7) To value and develop our staff and volunteers so they realise their full potential and are ready to support a wide range of activities, visitors and stakeholders.

Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest - family jumping off a log
Bedgebury National Pinetum Marshal's Lake view summer bridge
David Jenner

What is a pinetum?

We’re frequently asked, “What is a pinetum and how do you say it?”. Pronounced “py–nee–tum” (Latin for pine grove), it’s the name used to describe an arboretum (tree collection) that consists mainly of conifers. But despite its name, a pinetum contains more than just pines!

Why did we create a pinetum? Because it offers a sanctuary where scientists can study - and visitors can enjoy - these diverse, contrasting and beautiful trees.

Many botanic gardens include pinetums, although often they will only contain a small representation of the conifer family. Bedgebury is one of a handful of botanic gardens around the world that focuses specifically on this wonderful group of ancient plants.  Bedgebury holds the National Collections of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Cryptomeria japonica, Juniperus, Taxus, heritage cultivars of Thuja and the thuggish XCupressocyparis leylandii cultivars.

Discover more

Bedgebury propagation

In the present day some conifers face their greatest threat. The impact of humans and increasing demands on our world’s finite resources are likely to force some trees into extinction. Over 400 conifer species are under threat, with only a handful of some of the most critically endangered still growing in the wild.

Butterfly on flower

Managed in harmony with the botanical collection, Bedgebury has a variety of habitats full of our native fauna and flora.  Our nutrient-poor but varied acid soils do not produce the picturesque flower meadows much beloved by photographers, but instead the more subtle species-rich heath and acid grassland.  Both of these habitats are now rare in the South East of England - so we value them highly.  One reason why 40% of the Pinetum is always left un-planted is so that we can maintain and enhan

Foggy forest Bedgebury

Bedgebury National Pinetum is a Grade II listed landscape and is home to the largest pinetum in the world. It is unique and important on a global scale for species conservation, scientific advancement and the understanding of conifers. The mix of conifers and broadleaved specimens contained in 350 acres of rolling Wealden countryside is awe-inspiring in its size and grandeur.

Cleaning and sorting at Bedgebury

Bedgebury is the ideal place to study conifers. If you’re a scientist, forester, arboriculturalist or student, this is a unique opportunity to get close to a wide range of species. 

What are conifers?

Conifers are a group of ancient plants that include cedars, firs, cypresses, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces and yews. Bedgebury has a wide variety of conifers in all shapes and size. These plants play a critical role in the health of our planet. However, some of these trees are incredibly rare, mainly as a result of over-exploitation and forest clearance. 

Come and see this magnificent, awe-inspiring group of plants that have resisted 300 million years of whatever the planet has thrown at them living at Bedgebury!

Bedgebury Pinetum conifer larch cone and needles in autumn
David Jenner

Conifers

Caring for conifers - blogs from the National Pinetum

Bedgebury Apprentice blogs

Forestry apprentice planting a young conifer
First month at Bedgebury, a visit to Thetford and tractor training.
Female forester at work
Sowing seeds and tidying up.
Forestry apprentice planting a young conifer
Chipping, checking and keeping deer at bay.
Female forester at work
Challenging conditions, why we fell and tree ID.
Forestry apprentice planting a young conifer
Signs of spring, wading the waters and mulching.
Female forester at work
Blossom, bulbs, conifer pollen and birdsong! Learning to plant and all about chainsaws.
Forestry apprentice planting a young conifer
A new course, unestablished checks and the kahikatea tree.
Female forester at work
Wildflowers, the Bhutan pine and siviculture training.
Forestry apprentice planting a young conifer
Ips felling, exploring Kew's herbarium and potting on.

Educational activities

Bedgebury National Pinetum Marshal's Lake early autumn parent child walking

Enjoy a walk in the National Pinetum on a waymarked trail amongst extraordinary trees and an array of wildlife.

Discover the internationally significant tree collection throughout the seasons, on a route that is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Extractory cones
Educational activities for children
Find out where Bedgebury's conifers call home, using the What3Words location app
Holding a pine cone
Record and discover more about the flora and fauna that you find at Bedgebury.
Looking closely at a leaf
Gather leaves, twigs, cones and get creative
Collect responsibly, please pick up from the forest floor only.
The great storm 1987 at Bedgebury

History of Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest