The gardens at East Riddlesden Hall

Crocuses in the wild garden at East Riddlesden Hall

During early spring, the gardens start to take shape. If you’re visiting the gardens on your daily exercise, look out for the signs of spring and see what wildlife you can spot on your doorstep.

Snowdrops, daffodils and spring blooms

See colour return to the wild garden as nature begins to wake up after its winters rest.  First come the snowdrops, then sunny daffodils, purple crocuses and bluebells.

Look out for the arrival of the unique looking snake’s head fritillary, so named because of its strange snake-like pattern. These delicate meadow plants are always a welcome reminder that the warmer days are on the way.  

During lockdown, our team of rangers and volunteer gardeners have been hard at work looking after this special place and carrying out essential maintenance. If you take any photos of the garden on your visit, we’d love to see them so please do share them with us on social media.

Look out for the cleverly named snakes head fritillary in the wild garden
Snakes Head Fritillary in the wild garden at East Riddlesden Hall
Look out for the cleverly named snakes head fritillary in the wild garden

Getting to know your local wildlife

On your local walk in the gardens, keep an eye out for the wildlife that calls East Riddlesden Hall home.

In the lower fields, look out for kingfishers darting along the river and see the residents that have moved into our bug hotel. In the early mornings and evenings, deer can often be spotted amongst the trees or darting over the grass.

In the gardens the birdsong is getting louder and louder every day. You can expect to see friendly robins, blackbirds and other garden birds hopping across the lawn, or darting from the ivy that covers the old garden walls.

On the mill pond, you’ll see ducks and geese gliding across the water and the pond in the wellbeing garden might soon be home to frogspawn.

Friendly robins are regular visitors to the gardens
A robin in the garden at East Riddlesden Hall
Friendly robins are regular visitors to the gardens

Stretch your legs

Enjoy a local walk along the lower fields, looking for wildlife on the banks of the River Aire. This open space is a great place to enjoy some peace on quiet on your doorstep, with plenty of room for little ones to charge about and room to stretch your legs on the riverside path.

Visit the bug hotel and make friends with one of the crawly critters living there, or grab some sticks and make the best den ever in the den building area.

If you’re visiting with your four-legged friend, please be aware that during lockdown we’ve seen lots more wildlife on the lower fields including deer and some ground nesting birds. Please do keep your dogs under close control and help us care for this special place by removing any waste and using the bins provided or taking it home with you.

If you do spot any of our resident wildlife on your walk, please do let us know and share any photos with us. We love to see what you get up to on your visit.

Treat yourself to a warming drink

If you’re in need of light refreshments, the tea-room will be serving up a selection of hot drinks and cakes to help you refuel. Warm up with a takeaway cuppa and treat yourself to a slice of cake after a walk along the river.