Just round the corner from Bough Beech, among the mosaic of woods and pastures of the Weald, is Bore Place, a fine old brick and tile manor house. Today, it is the home of Commonwork, a charitable trust that seeks to educate, inspire and support people through contact with sustainable agriculture and nature. The place is at its heart a working, organic dairy farm with huge barns and parlours for the cattle and myriad buildings for the many visitors.
The place is quiet and closed on the Saturday, but there are no hostile signs and the atmosphere peaceful and welcoming, so we meander the grounds and walk the marked nature trail and find a herd of Friesian Holsteins up the hill.
The formal garden of the manor has an ancient Aubretia-laden brick wall down one side with a large ornamental pond at the centre and two cherry trees with brilliant white blossom briefly stealing the limelight. The garden elsewhere is bordered by a newer wall covered in ivy and high yew hedges. The birdsong and the busy hum of bees, hoverflies and other insects magnify the tranquility of the quadrangle. This is a sanctuary of extraordinary but unostentatious beauty; on a fine Spring day in late April, an evocation of the Garden of England.