February freshness at Fountains Abbey

A couple walking past a snowdrop covered banking towards Fountains Abbey

The chill is starting to ebb and the days are slowly starting to get lighter as winter gradually recedes. Be sure to get outside for some fresh air to make the most of the beautifully soft winter light and keep those winter blues away.

Have a stroll through the estate and relish the spring life that's starting to take hold of the landscape. With snowdrops popping up by the bunch and decorating the abbey grounds, it's a wonderful time of year to venture into the great outdoors.

Gardens of Light 

Join in a worldwide celebration of the wonder of gardens, helping us fundraise for vital conservation work. Pack a torch and explore the water garden after hours to see the statues and follies glowing gold.

Stretch your legs with these self guided walks

Explore the outdoors

Bundle the kids up for a winter adventure this month. The season is starting to break and it's a great time of year to get them reconnecting with the outdoors and all the wonderful nature on the doorstep. Which winter birds can they spot? Can they find some puddles to splash through? Can they find all the nature and wildlife on the Winter Explorer Map? 

Family fun this February

Who's tweeting this month?

We were very excited to have hawfinches around Fountains Hall up to the end of January so keep your eyes sharp to see if you can still spot them through February.

If you can't spot the hawfinches watch out for Mistle Thrushes, Tawny Owls and the Great Spotted Woodpecker. We've had some fantastic visitor photos on our Instagram channel (@ntfountainsabbey) of bird life, so head over to have a look by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker

All three varieties of bird are eagerly setting up their territories at the moment. As they start breeding earlier than other birds, it's highly likely the Mistle Thrushes and Tawny owl will be incubating eggs by the end of March.

What else can you see?

Snowdrops are popping up all over the place but look particularly beautiful by Mill bridge with the abbey in the background. You will also be able to spot the Lesser Celandines, which add a splash of yellow to the landscape.

Snowdrops are springing up by the abbey
Snowdrops springing up by the abbey
Snowdrops are springing up by the abbey

Our wildlife team tell us that the first spring moths will be starting to appear: the Spring Usher and Pale-brindled Beauty. On warm days you may spot the first over-wintering butterflies, too: the Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.

The Pale Brindled Beauty and Spring Usher start to appear in February
Pale Brindled Beauty and Spring Usher moth
The Pale Brindled Beauty and Spring Usher start to appear in February

Learn a little bit of history

Join one of our guides for a winter abbey tour each Saturday and Sunday through February. Our knowledgeable guides will bring the abbey's rich history to life in this hour long tour through the ruins of Fountains Abbey. If you don't manage to make a tour you can pick an audio guide up from the admissions desk at the visitor centre.

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