Springtime in Hardwick park
This time of year sees some of nature's best moments and when it comes to a show, Hardwick's park is a great theatre for all kinds of wildlife.
Splashes of yellow from daffodils, catkins on trees and buds bursting into life brighten the view.
As the season progesses, wild garlic or ransoms, line the paths to Lady Spencer's Walk. You'll smell it before you see it!
From April onward, bluebells are largely to be found in amongst Hardwick's woodland, much of which is outside of the main visitor area. But a great way to take in this seasonal highlight and see parts of the park not normally accessible to the public is on the monthly ranger-led walks.
Across the park you might spot some of the newly born lambs from our herd of sheep, while down at the ponds there'll be ducklings out for a swim with mum, or walk round the recently restored duck decoy and see what you might be able to spot. We've heard that otters like it here although no-one has seen one yet.
In Lady Spencer's Wood, and other parts of woodland, amongst the birds you might spot are great tit, blue tit, long tailed tit, robin, wren, blackbird, nuthatch and treecreeper. An extra special treat might be the sighting of a goldcrest.
On the ponds we have many visitors of the feathered kind, including mute swan, mallard, Canada goose, coot, moorhen, goosander, tufted duck, and black-headed gulls. We also get kingfishers, so if you're very quiet and very lucky you might catch a glimpse of one of these colourful chaps.
Pick up a Welly Wildlife Trail to take out with you into the park and see who or what you can find.
If the kids need to burn off some steam, you can always opt for the natural play. Follow Lady Spencer’s Walk to discover see-saws, stepping stones amongst other things.