Spring wildlife at Quarry Bank

A Great tit in Quarry Bank gardens at springtime

Quarry Bank is buzzing with wildlife in springtime, it’s the perfect place to bring your camera and get closer to nature, as the wildlife here wakes from its winter slumber. The gardens, woodland, meadow, mill ponds and winding River Bollin are home to a wide variety of birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians, as well as native and exotic plants and tree species. Here’s some top nature moments to watch out for this spring.

Birds, bugs and butterflies 

Many birds nest across the gardens, woodland and estate at Quarry Bank. This spring look out for chiffchaffs, goosanders, great tits, nuthatches, dippers and herons. You can also pop across to the mill meadow to watch the flutter of rare butterfly species.

The Apprentice House pond – a real haven for all thing wild – supports a good population of dragonflies and damselflies including broad bodied chasers and banded demoiselles. All of these species may have been observed by the apprentices in a few briefly snatched moments away from work.

A heron by the mill pond at Quarry Bank
A heron by the mill pond at Quarry Bank
A heron by the mill pond at Quarry Bank

Fish, reptiles and amphibians

The Apprentice House pond is also home to a wide variety of amphibians, including smooth and common newts, great crested newts, common toad and common frog.

Grass snakes also make their home here, they love water and basking in the sun, but once they’ve warmed up they move fast! See if you can spot them lounging by the river as they wait to catch fish, frogs and tadpoles coming down the stream. They’re easily identified by the yellow ‘V’ at the base of their head.

Stand on the garden bridge and look out for trout of all different sizes, or head up stream to the fish and eel pass. Constructed by the Environment Agency, the pass has opened up more than 10km of the river Bollin and the river to a range of fish. This means that migratory species such as Atlantic salmon and European eel are now able to migrate upriver so they can complete their complex lifecycles.

A male broad bodied chaser at Quarry Bank
A male broad bodied chaser at Quarry Bank
A male broad bodied chaser at Quarry Bank