Spring Wildlife at Cragside

The daffodils are blooming, we can hear bees returning to the estate, days are getting warmer and the lighter nights are here. Spring is a great time to spot seasonal birds and discover the insects and animals coming out of hibernation. Here's a top five of what to look out for this spring.

Greylag geese waddling across some grass

Greylag Geese

The Greylag Geese arrive at Cragside every spring in order to breed. You will see them on Tumbleton and both Nelly’s Moss lakes. While nesting these elegant birds can be a little protective of their space so it’s best to give them some distance if you spot them grazing on the grass around the lake. Keep an eye out for the arrival of the goslings.

A honey bee on white flowers in the Formal Garden


As the spring continues, you’ll start to see more and more bees around gardens and flower beds near you. Look out for honeybees buzzing from flower to flower in the Formal Garden collecting nectar and pollinating flowers as they go about their busy work.

 A close up of a common frog

Frogs, Toads and Newts

With wetlands, man-made lakes and Debdon Burn running through the valley, there is plenty of water on the estate for toads, frogs and newts. Every spring they come out of hibernation and make their way to water to breed. Keep an eye out as you walk the paths and travel along the carriage drive for any on the move.

A great tit sat on a branch


Nothing says spring like the increased volume and range of the song birds’ chorus. You can hear this throughout the day as you walk around the estate. Lots of species make Cragside their home including robins, chaffinches, wrens, blue tits and blackbrids. Keep your eyes peeled for some rarer species including goldcrests, crossbills and siskins.

A peacock butterfly on a purple flower


As spring continues keep a look out for early emerging butterflies, including Peacock, Orange Tips and Speckled Wood butterflies. On warm sunny days, they will be on rocks or dark patches of ground basking in the sun to warm up.