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.
When you explore the pinetum, you will notice that conifers make up over 70% of the trees and shrubs growing in the collection. The other tree species are there to complement the conifers and each has their own story to tell.
Water also plays a significant part in the landscape of Bedgebury. As you walk down to the Visitor Centre from the entrance you’ll come across the first of six lakes and ponds along the basin of Dallimore Valley.
Explore the world of Bedgebury
A walk around Bedgebury National Pinetum is a trip around the world. Conifers grow on every continent except Antarctica, and can be seen at Bedgebury in all their varied shapes, colours and sizes. These widespread and adaptable plants are awe-inspiring in their size and grandeur, but are equally fascinating when you look at the fine detail of needles, cones (strobili) and bark.
Out of the 810 species of conifer that exist worldwide, about 630 can be grown in the temperate climate at Bedgebury. Amongst these trees, you will find the planet's largest living organism - the giant redwood or Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), and also the tallest - the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens).
When standing in the visitor centre you can see a magnificent stand of redwoods. These trees are over 30 years old with a canopy reaching over 35 metres but they are babies compared to their parents in California. Elsewhere, you can see very young examples of the bristlecone pine, whose ancestors in California are 5,000 years old.
Different seasons, different colours
Bedgebury’s planting style enables the viewer to appreciate the size and form of the whole tree in the setting of a beautiful landscape.
Whether you walk the formal tracks or meander at random around the site, the landscape you’re seeing changes from spring, summer, autumn and winter. You can enjoy the different seasons through the rainbow colours of flowering rhododendrons, ornamental cherries and magnolias in spring.
During the summer, the Tree Team mow routes off the beaten track under the shade of the towering canopies, taking you to places you may not normally explore. Autumn brings a kaleidoscope of leaf colour with amber and red on acers and sweetgum; vibrant yellow on the ancient maidenhair tree and golden needles on the golden larch. Enjoy the views of the rich rust-red swamp cypress around the water’s edge and get up close to the deep red bark of the redwoods. As autumn turns into winter, the frosty leaves create a crisp sound underfoot and bare branches reveal the architectural beauty of the trees’ structure.