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The Haven Gardens

We are very fortunate to be located in one of the most beautiful areas of outstanding natural beauty in the Forest of Bowland. For a small charge,our four acres of private woodland gardens are open to visitors.

Words -John Owen Lacey           Music -Ella Cookson

Please be aware that the walk is not suitable for prams or wheelchairs.  There are some steep steps and paths may be slippery when wet, so suitable footwear is recommended and children must be supervised at all times.

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Visitors to the garden may have the chance to see some of the varied wildlife, particularly if they visit at quiet times (near opening and closing times).  Deer, squirrels, rabbits, stoats, herons, ducks and various birds often frequent the garden.  

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We care for our community of hedgehogs by feeding them regularly at our feeding stations.  

As they are nocturnal creatures, we prefer not to see them apart from on our wildlife camera. But we have had to rescue a few that have been out during the day and are grateful to Preston Hedgehog Rescue Centre for their help on these occasions.

Health Benefits of being earthed

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Have you ever noticed how being outdoors, walking through woodland and 'getting back to nature' has a positive effect on your general wellbeing?  The technological age in which we live means that our bodies are being constantly bombarded by electro-magnetic radiation that we can neither see or feel, yet it may have a detrimental effect on our health. 


Barry has been investigating how 'earthing' or 'grounding' can help to reduce the harmful effects of electro-magnetic radiation in our bodies.

He has written a book about his experiences which is available to buy in our shop or on Amazon.

History of the gardens

Mr. Frederick Charles Butchart was responsible for the original landscaping of the gardens which he named 'The Haven Gardens'. Mr. Butchart was a Canadian who lost both his legs at Vimy Ridge during the First World War.  He enlisted the help of local school children to make paths and care for the plants.  The picture below is a copy of an original postcard from the Haven Gardens, as Mr. Butchart was the first person to open the garden to the public.


Photo taken in 1960s

After 24 years, Mr. Butchart retired to Garstang and in 1953 the house was bought by Ronald and Phyllis Bowker who continued to work enthusiastically in the garden before moving to New Zealand to join their relatives.

In 1986, Albert and Judith Smith bought the house.  They changed the name to 'Highfield' after the area near Wigan where Albert was born. Like their predecessors, the Smiths were keen gardeners and Albert used the beautiful backdrops for his photography business.


In 1996 Barry and Marlene Smith bought a strip of land between 'Highfield' and 'Burnside'.  

Mr and Mrs Smith up a tree[2304]_edited.

Access was through a small gate in the hedge on Snowhill Lane.  They visited every weekend, enjoying the garden until 'Highfield' came up for sale in 1999.


It took 8 years to complete the house.  The garden is an on-going project which is always developing.  

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