The Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership (KSCP) is an organisation built on the core aim of conserving, restoring and celebrating the glory of nature and landscapes. For two decades KSCP has had the pleasure and privilege of working with Godinton House and Gardens.
Like the strong, withstanding trunk, of a mighty oak tree, Godinton has firm pride in honouring the past whilst safeguarding the future. With the red brick walls, arching windows, a thriving farmed estate and graceful gardens where design melds seamlessly with nature, Godinton is an asset to Kent.
KSCP shares these principles and feels part of the body of Godinton House. KSCP conservation volunteers have spent many hours with mud-splattered faces, restoring river habitats, surveying barn owls and planting trees. Since 2020 KSCP volunteers have provided nearly 4000 workdays and look forward to many more!
Great memories have been made with the Estate staff and residents. Wading through the river reducing dense stands of common reed, in the company of resident and conservationist Nick Fysh, has inspired many minds to see beyond the surface of the rippling water and appreciate the delicate plethora of life underwater. Banded demoiselles cling to nettles, wild grasses and reeds seeking a mate, before laying eggs in the cool Stour River. As voracious predators, these iridescent blue insects are a striking sight through summer.
Godinton connects people to their history but importantly impresses on people the value of living landscapes for the future. Through exploration and submersion, this message is delivered throughout the seasons. People of all ages are encouraged to connect with the earth through fun natural activities. Autumn week is a celebration of the harvest. As the kitchen garden bursts with squashes and pumpkins, the gardens erupt with autumn fruits and oodles of colour.
The art cupboard can stay firmly shut when Godinton House and Gardens gets crafty. Nature-inspired imaginative creature creations. One of the most memorable and artistic afternoons I have had the delight of participating in. The odd leaf, a spiked chestnut skin, lump of clay and a stick…before you know it, a world of wildlife is created!
Outdoor Education, delivered through Godinton House and Gardens by KSCP and other providers, stands at the head of what Godinton has to offer the community. In the words of Whitney Houston, “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way,” Godinton is developing as a centre of educational distinction. Centred on nurturing confidence, inspiring children with knowledge of the living world, and empowering them to protect and thrive in a world of nature.
As a senior partnership officer at the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership, I aspire to continue to work with Godinton House and Gardens, empower more young people and take part in (some of) the next 4000 conservation volunteer workdays!