Turning to the present day, he explained that the current popularity of the house and gardens has brought its own problems. It is in a way a victim of its own success. With 57000 visitors over the Christmas period to see the Wind in the Willows decorations, and some 250000 over the year as a whole, wear and tear is considerable, and significant efforts must be deployed to ameliorate that. Besides significant maintenance to the house, there is a need to cordon off some areas of grass to allow for regeneration.
Future plans for the garden include laying more gravel paths to create a number of circular routes which can be completed without the need to walk on grass. In the longer term he would like to bring the walled kitchen garden, which is currently the main car park, back into use as a source of fruit and vegetable produce. However, he acknowledged that there is no obvious location for a replacement car park, and so this idea may not come about.
All in all this talk was a comprehensive and well presented summary of past and present and included some ideas for the future.