Where to find wildflowers in the North East

Alongside the formal gardens and striking landscapes that we care for in the North East, we also look after wild areas, coastal grasslands and wildflower meadows that are havens for wildlife. As well as providing a home and food for insects, birds and mammals, these places also create stunning displays of colourful flowers in late spring and early summer, often in the most unexpected places. Here are some of the best places to see wildflowers in the North East:

Bright purple pink flowers of the Bloody Cransebill

Durham Coast, County Durham  

The Durham Coast is well known for its spectacular wildflowers. Some of the fields at Blast Beach are among the best places to enjoy them, with plants like bloody cranesbill, dyer’s greenweed and devil’s-bit scabious creating a riot of colour in the summer. The patches of scrub that intersperse the grassland provide shelter for birds like grasshopper warblers. Listen out for their insect-like song

The hall at Gibside viewed across the wildflower meadow

Gibside, Tyne & Wear  

The “no mow, let it grow” philosophy is thriving at Gibside and as a result the ancient hay meadow is a riot of colour during the summer, with vibrant yellow rattle and bright purple betony. Volunteer Judy has surveyed the meadow every year for the past ten years and has seen it flourish in that time, saying it's now "like a supermarket for insects and wildlife such as bees, voles and mice". Join the Gibside team on National Meadows Day on 1 July and find out more about the beautiful meadow and the wildlife who call it home.

Embleton bay with Dunstanbugh Castle in the distance

Embleton and Newton Links, Northumberland 

Behind the silver sands of Embleton Bay, BBC Countryfile Magazine's Beach of the Year, you'll find wildlife-rich dunes where a variety of wildflowers bloom, including bluebells and cowslips in May, and wild burnet roses and Northumberland's county plant, the pinky purple bloody cranesbill, later in the summer.

Red and white hooped Souter Lighthouse against clear blue skies

Souter Lighthouse & The Leas, Tyne & Wear  

Alongside the striped lighthouse is The Leas, two and a half miles of magnesium limestone cliffs, wave-cut foreshore and coastal grassland whose lime-rich soil supports a variety of wildflowers in summer. Look out for Pyramidal orchids, autumn gentian, yellow wort, bee orchid, wild thyme and small scabious. There is also a small wildlife garden at the lighthouse, which includes ponds, trees, berry bearing shrubs, a bog garden, hibernation areas and more wildflowers.

Washington Old Hall Bumble bee on Lavender

Washington Old Hall, Tyne & Wear  

In the gardens at Washington Old Hall is the Nuttery, a mature nut orchard that is also a thriving wildlife haven. It features many habitats including a wildflower meadow, hedgerows, a pond, bird feeding station, compost/deadwood area and bee hives. It's a tranquil spot filled with nature.