23rd June
11:45am - 12:30pm

Rewilding the Garden

Festival Talk with Moy Fierheller & Suzi Turner, Knepp Estate

Rewilding the Garden: An Experiment in Maximising Garden Biodiversity

Discover the art of rewilding a garden with Moy Fierheller and Suzi Turner, Deputy Head Gardeners at Knepp Estate.

Rewilding a garden does not simply mean ‘letting go’. Instead, it requires thinking creatively to identify ways in which disturbance can mimic and encourage natural processes. Given that a garden is rarely big enough for keystone species such as large herbivores, this is where we, as gardeners, can act as their proxy. Thinking like a beaver or a wild boar frees the mind from cultural constraints and can inject dynamism into even the smallest space. We can also maximise biodiversity by creating a mosaic of connected habitats within a garden.

 

Through captivating images and video clips, Moy and Suzi will unveil the remarkable transformation of the Rewilded Walled Garden at Knepp Castle. A collaboration between design visionaries Tom Stuart-Smith and James Hitchmough, witness the adventurous evolution of a croquet lawn into a dynamic and diverse landscape, hosting niches for wildlife and boasting nearly 1000 different plant species. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain insights and inspiration for your own green oasis.

Speaker Bio - Moy Fierheller

Moy Fierheller – Deputy Head Gardener at Knepp Estate.

Moy joined Knepp in 2019 and shares the post of Deputy Head Gardener with her long-time friend and colleague Suzi Turner. Together they implemented Tom Stuart Smith’s design of the rewilded Victorian walled garden over two years. Since the department expanded to include the Market Garden, they now work with Charlie Harpur, maintaining the castle grounds, hosting garden safari visitors and weeding like a herbivore. After a career change in 2001, she studied horticulture at Stanmer Park in Brighton and went on to run her own garden maintenance company. She has travelled widely in Southeast Asia and South America and worked for several years in the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming, USA.

She is an avid reader, enjoys ballet classes and spends much of her spare time trying to gain a deeper understanding of conservation and ecology.

Speaker Bio - Suzi Turner

Suzi Turner – Deputy Head Gardener at Knepp Estate.

Suzi joined Knepp in 2019 and shares the post of Deputy Head Gardener with her long-time friend and colleague Moy Fierheller. Having worked as a gardener for 25 years, she came from a background of large formal gardens, high end nurseries and public institutions. Suzi studied the History of Landscape Design and Modern Environmentalism at university, and then horticulture at Stanmer Park in Brighton in 2001. Her role at Knepp is the perfect combination of gardening and ecology. 

Alongside Moy, Suzi implemented Tom Stuart Smiths design of the rewilded Victorian walled garden and now works alongside Charlie Harpur as the department has expanded to include the market garden. 

In a wonderfully varied role, Suzi combines responsibility for vegetable growing in the kitchen garden with stewarding the new rewilded garden and hosting garden safaris. She is passionate about growing food and seed sovereignty, and she is currently immersed in the world of soil science. In her free time, she is most likely to be found in a wetsuit, exploring the waterways of Sussex on her paddleboard, embracing her inner geographer. 

At A Glance

Date and time

23rd June
11:45am - 12:30pm

Cost

£10, plus a valid Day Admission ticket for Borde Hill Garden Festival.

Important info

Location: The Animal Room, Borde Hill House.

Follow the signs to the terrace to arrive at Borde Hill House 5 minutes before the talk start time.

Two adults wearing hats at an event at Borde Hill during the summer.

Become a Member

Make the most of the great outdoors and visit time and again by becoming a Member of Borde Hill

Borde Hill Membership is your ticket to enjoy unlimited access to the Garden and Parkland throughout the open season. Our members also receive free entry to a number of exciting events, from live music in the Garden to Specialist Plant Fairs, and much more. Family Membership also provides unlimited access to the Adventure Playground and free school holiday trails.

Discover the Possibilities

A family next to the water feature in the Rose Garden at Borde Hill during summer.

Become a Member

Membership is your ticket to enjoy unlimited access to the Garden, Parkland and Woodland throughout the open season. Our members also receive free entry to a number of exciting events, from live music in the Garden to Specialist Plant Fairs and much more. Family Membership provides unlimited access to the Adventure Playground and free school holiday trails.

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Italian Garden at Borde Hill. Image: Molly Hollman

Our Garden & Grounds

Set within 383 acres of heritage listed Parkland, our formal Garden captivates and delights visitors with a series of intimate 'Garden rooms'. Beyond the formal Garden you can explore Woodland walks, the South Park and our lakes with outstanding views across the Sussex High Weald.

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A misty atmospheric view of trees in North Park at Borde Hill with cows in the distance.

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As a small, independent Garden Charity, we rely on your kind generosity to help fund our projects and to continue to grow sustainably, protecting our natural heritage for generations to come. 'Reinventing Borde Hill' is our most ambitious project to date and your support will help us to achieve exciting plans to benefit our local community.

It would make a huge difference if you would consider supporting us by making a donation – thank you.

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