Whitstable Castle and Gardens are applying for the Green Flag award in 2012. More details to follow, but please do take a look at our management plan and other supporting information which is available to download below as a PDF or word document
Whitstable Castle Gardens have become one of the most popular destinations since the restoration project was completed in September 2010, extensive ground works have been undertaken to achieve this unique setting for the whole family and all abilities to enjoy everyday of the year. No matter what season there is always something different for you to see and enjoy in the gardens. Along with the hard landscaping there is also the addition of the new adventure play area containing play equipment such as the Pirate ship, swing, roundabout and also the inclusion of interactive items such as the sandpits and water feature.
The Castle Gardens have hosted many community events since re-openng including the return of the Whitstable & Herne Bay Lions Club May Day Fair, treasure hunts have been very popular along with the first Scarecrow festival held in October 2011 with over 30 entries and over 200 families taking part in the trail around the gardens. The Easter egg hunt proves to be a big hit with the younger children despite the poor weather this year over 150 children along with their families took part. Running alongside this was the craft workshops in the new Castle Studio, a wooden building erected in 2011 with help from funding given by the Castle Centre Association who were the custodians of the Castle until the new trust was formed, George Wilson and other local groups.
During the summer Whitstable Brass hold free open air concerts on the top terrace, Tango proved very popular in July last year with a temporary dance floor installed in the Rose Garden and the Pirate Treasure Hunt as part of the Oyster Festival brought families, not only from Whitstable and the district but from London and beyond.
Whitstable Castle Gardens have been recognised locally by wining the 2011 Best Public Open Space award in Whitstable In Bloom, along with this for the last three years we have entered Kent Wildlife Wild About Gardening competition wining bronze in the first two years and a silver last year. The gardens attract a wide variety of wildlife from birds, insects, mammals, foxes etc. Bats have returned to the Castle gardens and can be seen searching for food at dusk. Stag beetles have always been a resident here and new habitats have been built to help with the protection of them. We currently have a pair of nesting Blue Tits in an unusual home - the column for the main car park CCTV camera, the pair can be seen busy returning to the nest with new nesting material and now insects for the young.
Whitstable Art Society will be displaying their pictures in the Castle gardens in 2012, along with several other local groups holding a variety of events including sponsored walks to raise money for the Royal British Legion and the Alzheimer's Society will be returning for their Memory Walk in September this year after the success of last years event which was officially started by Janet Street Porter and the Lord Mayor of Canterbury. The Oyster Festival will be holding an Open Air Theatre production in the Tea Gardens in July along with the Castle gardening team hosting a gardeners question time and afternoon tea.
The Castle Garden can also boast to having the biggest living Christmas tree in Kent, adorned with some 500 LED energy efficient lights, the tree is lit up in late November and stays on throughout December, the tree can be seen from the town center, funding was sourced to install the lights and promoted through local schools with a colouring competition. The scheme was completed in November 2010 and has become a focal point for celebrations for the community, the Castle hosts its own Christmas fair in November along with other events throughout the festive season including the open air Christmas market in December.
Green Flag Award Management Plan details - Download here
Litter, vandalism and maintenance policy 2012 - Download here
Maintenance Policy Final 2012 - Download here
Biodiversity policy - Download here
Planting Policy for Whitstable Castle - Download here
As part of the community inclusion the Castle organises many events within the Castle building and gardens, Halloween 2010 was the first open air evening trail followed by a bar-b-que and fancy dress competition - Download here
Whitstable Castle Heritage - Download here
Wild About Gardens 2009 - Download here
Wild About Gardens 2010 - Download here
Wild About Gardens 2011 - Download here