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Bedgebury National Pinetum Marshal's Lake april sunset
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. 

Bedgebury National Pinetum awarded Level 4 Accreditation by ArbNet 

Bedgebury National Pinetum has achieved international recognition as one of the top arboreta in the world. 

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Family walking through Bedgebury in autumn
David Jenner Photography
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.

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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

Educational activities

Ips typographus spruce bark beetle female Coleoptera, Curculionidae Scolytinae CREDIT Gilles San Martin
Our lives depend on plants. If we look after them they will look after us. In the International Year of Plant Health find out how Bedgebury National Pinetum plays an important role in the battle against tree pests and diseases.

Visit the National Pinetum and follow the trail to discover: 

Extractory cones
Educational activities for children
Find out where Bedgebury's conifers call home, using the What3Words location app
Holding a pine cone

Conifer inspired activities

Family activities inspired by the National Collection of Conifers at Bedgebury Pinetum
Download and discover conifer inspired family activities
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