Spring wildlife at Gibside

An Elephant Hawk moth

With the woodpeckers drumming, the frogs croaking and birds singing, we've got our very own band. Nature is definitely singing a tune this spring.

Whilst you're out and about at Gibside it's easy to forget that you're not alone. There's hundreds of wildlife and nature all around us, and some of them rather enjoy making an appearance now and again. 

So what might you see during your visit?

Beautiful birds

A swallow flying low over the water


Head up to the Stables to see these beauties nesting. They normally tend to nest around May time and their agile in-flight skills means they can be seen swooping and swerving a lot of the time. With their distinctive fork tail, they are instantly recognisable.

The nocturnal night crawlers

A Soprano Pipistrelle being recorded


Late evening opening on a Friday and Saturday evening is the ideal time to keep your eyes open for bats fluttering overhead. Species such as the Soprano Pipistrelle live in the avenue trees, the Hall ruin and even the Stable block.

A badger on the cliff edge of the Pentire Farm estate on the Rumps Peninsula, North Cornwall


Did you know that a badger's set can extend well over 50 metres long? And Gibside is the ideal shopping experience for the natural materials they need for a cosy bed such as grasses, hay and straw, fallen leaves, green leaves, and bracken that they gather up and pull backwards into their setts, sometimes from more than 100 metres or more away.

Water babies

Two otters in the River Derwent


Take the Riverside route to walk alongside the River Derwent for the highest chance of spotting otters. They're fun and playful and can offer hours of fun. Although childlike, they're also highly intelligent. When underwater, their silvery colour is created from the trapped air bubbles in their fur.

Six Great Crested Newts

Great crested newts

These little dragon-like creatures are a European protected species. They are also the largest newt in Britain and sport a distinctive yellow underbelly. The rangers conduct regular surveys of the newts, if this is something you'd like to be involved with, we're always on the look out for new wildlife volunteers.