Garden escapes are cultivated plants that can be found growing in the wild.

Sometimes they will not survive for long, they may not suit their new conditions or they may be killed off by frost or drought. On the other hand, hardier species can become established, flourish and even become invasive.

Although many garden escapes are attractive and provide food for insects, we do not wish to increase our stock of cultivated plants in Ham Lands or to risk introducing invasive ones. Our aim is to keep our habitats as close to the English flora as possible

Some plants escape by natural means, usually by birds spreading the seeds. These are mostly found on the least accessible parts of the Lands.

Unfortunately, human activity is also to blame; these arrivals are usually found near paths and residential areas.

  • Specimens are sometimes deliberately planted. Perhaps a commemorative tree, or an unwanted shrub or perennial herb is transplanted rather than wasted. Please do not be tempted to plant anything.
  • Dumped garden waste is a particular problem. It is unsightly but more importantly, it can introduce plants into the wild via both seeds and other plant parts (propagules). The rotting material enriches the soil and, this, in turn, decreases biodiversity. Our habitats are sensitive and dumped waste may unwittingly be deposited on an area of particular interest. Dumping garden waste is a form of fly-tipping, and as such is illegal.

Please help us to safeguard our habitats and biodiversity at Ham by not letting anything escape from your garden.