British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

British Holiday and Home Parks Association, David Bellamy Conservations Awards

Dulguog Estates

Working for Wildlife

Biodiverity is not only beautiful, it can also stir the senses and that is something that has been beautifully highlighted at Dolguog Estates in Machynlleth, Powys. This park and hotel is situated in the heart of the Dyfi Valley and is set amid woodlands filled with specimen trees and beautiful gardens. Dolguog is rich in wildflowers and sustains an abundance of wild life. The jewel of Dolguog Estates, however, is Grandma’s Garden.

Designed by the park’s owner, Diana Rhodes in 2004, this linear garden is open to park residents and the public alike and contains seven mini-gardens which stimulate the five various senses. Every corner of each mini garden is full of natural wonders and beautiful sculptures, for example 14 rose arches lead on from a statue of the Buddha and a viewing ‘eye’ through which visitors can see the surrounding landscape. Children and adults are both delighted as they walk round the garden, many also find it a place of great peace and calm.

"The gardens are about nature, healing and linking cultures," says Diana, who has created corners of the gardens for people with different disabilities and health problems and who has strived to make the gardens sanctuaries for wildlife as well. The gardens are also used to support causes in the community – admission money is given to local charities, such as the RNLI, and to people who need specific medical help.

Grandma’s garden is continually evolving. The most recent addition is a large labyrinth that is ringed by azaleas, potentillas and buddleias – all of which will ensure an inundation of butterflies in the Summer and more smiles for its human visitors.