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Things to do in Newark Park's garden and estate

Long-distance view of the house at Newark Park in surrounded by trees
Newark Park in summer | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

Situated in the green hills overlooking the valley of the River Severn, Newark Park is a great place to get away and explore the countryside. The garden and parkland's natural location means there are lots of birds to spot, such as red kites and owls. Plus, the grounds are home to plenty of other creatures, including bats, hares and resident peacocks.

Explore the garden

The Glade Walk in Newark Park garden takes you from the quirky folly to the rockery beneath Newark House. In contrast, the lakeside garden has a relaxing and romantic feel. You can sit and watch the ducks swimming on the small lake or venture into the charming, historic summerhouse.

There are benches and fallen logs dotted throughout the garden and estate where you can stop and rest. If you're looking for the wow factor, there are many seasonal plants to look out for at Newark.

Special trees

At Newark Park there is a mix of native British trees and more exotic specimens. The estate contains mainly native trees. On the waymarked walks there are fine examples of beech, chestnut, oak, ash, silver birch, sycamore, larch and Scots pine, some of which are classed as ancient woodland species.

Within the garden you’ll find a variety of native and non-native ornamental trees. Many were planted in the 1970s and 1980s when tenants Bob Parsons and Michael Claydon lived here.


In January and February, carpets of snowdrops cover the garden at Newark Park. They are real seasonal showstoppers that brighten up the winter months.

Daffodils and narcissus

Learn more about these golden spring blooms in the hexagonal hut throughout March 2024.

The appearance of golden daffodils is often the first sign of spring, and you'll find them blooming around the garden. Brush away the cobwebs and take a refreshing walk down to the lakeside garden where you can see banks of these bright blooms.

Wild garlic

Wild garlic is prolific in the garden from early spring through May. Wild garlic, Allium ursinum, also known as Ramsoms, is a member of the onion family. The large flat leaves of wild garlic start to appear above ground at the end of January, and it gradually begins to bloom around April and May. The plant favours damp conditions and is often found in woodlands, such as those at Newark Park.


This delicate flower appears in both spring and autumn. Blankets of pink and white flowers are visible under the tree canopies as you approach Newark house as these flowers thrive in shady areas.

A sculpture of an owl carved into wood at Newark Park, Gloucestershire in winter
Owl sculpture at Newark Park | © National Trust Images/Hilary Daniel

Bird spotting

Newark Park is home to a variety of birds throughout the year. Below are some of the birds to look out for while exploring the estate and garden.


The resident peacocks that roam the garden are friendly and love to call out to their friends. They live at Newark Park full time so you're almost certain to see one.

Please don't feed the peacocks as they can peck and human food isn't very good for them.

Yellowhammer birds

Even as you pull up in the car park, you may see the unmistakeable flash of the yellowhammer in the hedgerows along the road that leads to Newark Park.

Yellowhammers are small, no bigger than a sparrow. If you see one, it's most likely to be a male. Their bright yellow heads and bellies stand out from the other farmland birds. Yellowhammers love to feed on seeds and invertebrates.


Redwings are winter visitors, who fly in from faraway places like Russia and Scandinavia in October.

They spend late autumn in the hedges where they feast on the ripe berries and fruit. As the food is used up and the colder weather draws closer they move into the parkland and fields looking for tasty earthworms to eat.

Red kites

Don't forget to look up during your visit. Birds of prey can often be seen gliding through the skies above Newark Park. Red kites with their forked tails often glide overhead so listen out for their whistle-like call. They're scavengers and eat mostly carrion and worms.

Buzzards and kestrels

Buzzards are quite large, with a fan shaped tail. If you see one gliding and soaring overhead it will often hold its wings in a shallow 'V'.

Kestrels are a smaller bird of prey and easy to spot from their hovering activity in the sky. If you time it right, you can see them dive to the ground in search of worms and insects.

Little owls

The species of owl called little owls used to inhabit the woodlands around the estate, but their numbers have declined recently. Special nest boxes that are perfect for little owls have now been placed in the estate. They're social birds, so the boxes have been installed in clusters.

Thanks to how the grounds are managed, there's plenty for little owls to eat. They enjoy a diet of small mammals, invertebrates, beetles, crickets and worms.

Monitoring little owls

Please keep an eye out for the little owls. They're most likely to be perched on a pole or branch in the early morning or at dusk hunting for food. If you see one on the estate, please get in touch. We'd love to know if they've returned.

A brown hare on alert in a field at Gramborough Hill, Norfolk
A brown hare on alert | © National Trust Images / Rob Coleman

Wildlife watching

The garden and estate are home to many animals and creepy crawlies. Most of them live here all year round, but some only stay for a few months. Below are just some of the creatures you can find living at Newark Park.

Brown hares

You can often see brown hares in the fields that surround the car park. If you're out for a walk along one of the estate trails, you might see one dart out of the woodland using its strong back legs for maximum speed. When running from predators, brown hares have been known to reach speeds of 45mph.

Hares love to feed on vegetation but they're also partial to the bark of young trees and bushes. Unlike rabbits, they don't dig burrows, but shelter instead in shallow holes in the ground.


Some of the rarest bats in Britain have made Newark Park their home. At least eight species have been spotted, including daubentons, long-eared, natterers and lesser and greater horseshoes.

Bats emerge at dusk to hunt insects. Their favourites are the dung beetles that feed on the cowpats left by the grazing cattle in the parkland. They will also eat nocturnal insects and moths that emerge at night.


If you've never experienced the sheer numbers of toadlets, the tiny amphibian youngsters, as they leave their birth ponds for the first time, you're in for quite a surprise.

In July thousands of toadlets can be seen crossing the paths as they make their way into the woods. They are well camouflaged, making them even harder to spot so you'll need to tread very carefully.

An adult and children outside the south front of Newark Park, Gloucestershire

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