On 25th September, a group from the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI) visited Haslemere Museum and Swan Barn Farm under the leadership of Dr June Chatfield OBE, a Fellow of the Institute and volunteer at Haslemere Museum. After an introduction to the history of the Museum (founded in 1888) a guided tour was taken of the Museum Galleries, Observation Beehive and grounds.

In the afternoon, the group walked from the Museum via the Town Well to Swan Barn Farm, a National Trust open access site that borders the Museum’s grounds. It was too late in the season for wild flowers but happily the group found Common Mallow in flower by the gate, and in the marshy area a few flowers of Lesser Spearwort in the buttercup family. The leader of the walk also pointed out Soft Rush that was used for rush lights in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and mentioned in the writings of local authors Gilbert White, William Cobbett and Gertrude Jekyll.

One of the tour group commented in the Visitors’ Book, “I really enjoyed my visit today, enhanced by June’s knowledge and experience.  I will definitely come again”.

Following on from this successful visit and a trial of Dr Chatfield’s Museum Garden Tours earlier this year, the team at the Museum plans to carry out regular Garden Tours in the spring and summer of 2022.



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