As you walk through the Gardens you will encounter an abundance of wild life. Birds are everywhere, particularly at the corner of the Wetlands area and the Children’s Discovery Garden, where there are numerous bird feeders. Butterflies and insects are attracted in large numbers to the plant collections.
The gardens can support so much wildlife because of the mix of semi-natural areas such as the Woodland Walk, wetland habitat and the nature reserve which provide native plants and quiet areas for breeding and the more formal areas which have an abundance of food.
This area is managed to look and feel like native woodland – the tree canopy is largely made up of native trees and there is an under storey of native shrubs including hazel coppice and a ground layer of snowdrops, primroses and bluebells. Some trees are managed for their wildlife value – providing nesting opportunities for woodpeckers. (Go to the Woodland Walk page).
Native wetland habitat
The wildfowl collection are all of native species and this is an area where native plants are allowed to grow and provide food plants for the larval stages of insects – including butterflies.
There is a three acre nature reserve to the south of the garden (not open to the public). This area is semi-wild but managed to promote birdlife and other wildlife with coppice and a pond. There is a shelter for school groups to use the site for nature studies.
This border in the story of horticulture garden shows some plants that can be grown to provide food and shelter for the adults and their caterpillars. (Go to the Butterfly Border page).