Creating a space for nature

Looking down onto the future meadow

Helping nature thrive

We are creating more spaces for wildlife to thrive and give visitors more opportuntities to connect and explore nature. So work is underway to take an unused piece of land and transform it into a wildlife haven to support nature and help pollinators thrive in a place of beauty. 

As a conservation charity, we're aware of the national decline in natural habitats and our approach to land use reflects our aim to restore healthy, beautiful enviroments that help nature. Our vision is for nature, beauty and history for everyone. Our simple ambition with this project is to create a green oasis and nature-rich haven in the heart of urban Middlesbrough. 

Spring welcomes the sight of bees in the garden
The bees love feeding on the flowers in the formal garden
Spring welcomes the sight of bees in the garden

So far

Some mixed native hedgerows such as hawthorn and blackthorn were planted to encircle the orchard. In Spring time they will provide nesting for birds and blossoms for pollinators. Then in autumn and winter their berries will provide essential nourishment for birds.

The perennial wildflower seed mix and meadow grass mix was sown in early June and should create a splash of colour this summer.

A wildflower mini meadow in the garden borders.
A mixture of native wildflowers, including cornflowers and poppies.
A wildflower mini meadow in the garden borders.

Look out for

In autumn the orchard will be planted with apple and pear trees as well as plums, damsons and gages. This will include apple tree varieties such as the Yorkshire Beauty, Hunthouse, Ribston Pippin and Acklam Russet. (Hunthouse was grown in the Whitby area and reputedly taken to sea by Captain Cook as a source of vitamins to prevent scurvy.) These will be accompanied by a collection of crab trees.

Also in early autumn the pond liner will be installed and the first meadow cut will be in September. Then in early 2022 the pond dipping jetty will be built, ready for the water and bog plants to be placed.

The reintroduction of the pond will create a mixed habitat for wildlife, including a shallow bog garden where marsh and bog living plants will thrive. Deeper areas will support aquatic insects, such as dragonflies, pond skaters, frogs, toads and newts. The pond will have a jetty where pond dipping can take place.

Future pond dipping at Ormesby Hall
Future pond dipping at Ormesby Hall
Future pond dipping at Ormesby Hall

The vision

To create a wildlife haven for birds, butterflies and bees to feast and call home. The fruit trees will also make the land purposeful and grow fruit as the family once did in their walled garden. (which was located on nearby Ormesby bank and is now houses).

The wildflower meadow and orchard will have benches for visitors to relax in a space of beauty and watch nature up close at work.

The future meadow and orchard (PDF / 0.2734375MB) download

Latest updates

28 Jul 21

The pond lining is down

The next stage in the pond development is complete with the pond lining positioned on the floor on the pond.

National Trust Head Gardener surveying new pond lining

20 Jun 21

Growing wildflower seeds

The wildflower seeds are emerging after a slow start, they just need a little help from some rainy weather.

The wildflower seeds are starting to grow in the new meadow

09 Jun 21

A pond takes shape

With the orchard shape complete, we moved onto the creation of the pond. National Trust Rangers from the North Yorkshire Moors team have helped our outdoors team dig out the shape of the pond, with one shallow end and one deep.

National Trust Ranger digging the future pond