Wildlife in the Goddards garden

Three people sat on a bench behind a wildlife pond

You won't be alone as you explore the garden. With ponds, wilder areas and scented borders alongside mature trees - nature can thrive at Goddards.

Goddards is now closed until spring 2022

A hidden oasis

Despite its relatively urban location, Goddards is a haven for wildlife. Set back from the busy streets and next door to York racecourse is this pocket of green full of different habitats and year round support for nature. 

What to look out for

Dragonfly at Goddards in the sunshine


There are four separate ponds at Goddards all fed by the rainwater captured from the roof of the main house. They attract a variety of wildlife over the year including newts, frogs, dragonflies and the occasional heron looking for a snack.

A curved hedge made from reclaimed branches

Insect habitats

As part of our garden management we create habitats for wildlife where possible. A ‘dead hedge’ was constructed from fallen tree branches, and provides lots of nooks and crannies for insects to hide and shelter in. Elsewhere log piles are left to rot down as a source of food for other insects.


Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding young at nest hole


Over 30 different varieties of birds have been recorded in the garden in recent years including tree creepers, gold crests, nut hatches and greater spotted woodpeckers. The mature trees and shrubs provide food and shelter for them, and additional bird boxes encourage nesting. In the last few summers, the sound of baby sparrow hawks can be heard calling out for food from their parents.

A meadow brown butterfly rests on a purple knapweed amongst meadow grass


Different habitats in the garden attract different sorts of butterflies. At the back of the tennis court is a border full of buddlejas. In summer the flowers attract vast numbers of butterflies including red admirals, painted ladies, small tortoiseshells and commas. In the orchard, the long grass supports the eggs of several meadow butterflies such as meadow browns, gatekeepers and ringlets. Patches of nettles are left intentionally for others to use.


Tag us on instagram

If you snap some great pictures tag us #NTYork and follow to see season shots from the places around York.

Like us on Facebook

The best place for a mix of the latest news, what's coming up and behind the scenes.

Follow us on Twitter

Keep up to date with the latest news from York city centre places.