Discover nature during the cooler seasons

Funghi in the woodland at Cragside

Discover a kaleidoscope of colour during autumn and experience the majestic evergreens during winter at Gibside. Everywhere you turn there's a sign that frosty weather is here.


The pink, or ballerina, waxcap can be seen at the Hall field

Embark on a mushroom march

Now is a fantastic time to look out for fungi, they're busy appearing in the woodlands and meadows. There's a variety of rare waxcaps here, they're bright and colourful and can be spotted among the grassy fields and verges. Just like the pink - or ballerina - waxcap that appears in the Hall field and along the avenue bank.

Berries, acorns and conkers start to make an appearance during autumn

Signs of autumn

Just like fungi, autumn also brings out the nuts and berries. Coming to life along the woodland path edges and Park Field hedgerows look out for hazel nuts, acorns, conkers, beech nuts, elder berries, rowan berries, rosehips, sloes and haws. All of these wonderful things help to support the birds and wildlife during the cold winter months.

A Red Admiral butterfly perches on a flower at Gibside in Tyne and Wear

The big butterfly effect

Even though autumn is well underway, as you make your way around the gardens you'll notice that there are still splashes of colour everywhere, especially in the walled garden and orangery. So, don't be surprised to see a range of butterflies such as the Red Admiral and Peacock, fluttering all around.



During a stroll along the avenue, you might spot the Jays bickering. You see, they have a penchant for acorns and this is a perfect spot to pick some up. They store them for during the colder months when rations are low. When threatened by hawks, jays mob their attackers mimicking the hawk's call as an alarm.


Witch hazel in flower in January

Gather winter gardening advice

For the green-fingered visitor in mid-winter, spot the leaves of Witch Hazel, Rhododendron Dauricum and sweet-smelling Violets. Chat to the team for gardening tips and watch them at work; pruning fruit bushes, mulching leaf mould and reseeding the lawns.

snowdrops in the woodland

Discover a blanket of snowdrops

With the help of early emerging bumblebees, snowdrops can emerge as early as January. Take a wander through Ice House dene and see the woodland floor covered in these bright white flowers.