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Bird Garden Redevelopment 2016

This winter, a mammoth effort has been made to modernise Harewood’s Bird Garden and to open up previously closed areas. The Bird Garden has been at Harewood since 1970 and needed a great deal of attention! Every member of Harewood’s team has been involved; from Gardens to Education.

Bird Garden Redevelopment Project - tree clearing credit Harewood House Trust (7)

Tree and shrub removal

The project, which is part of a three year development plan, has seen a great deal of tree work undertaken. Tonnes of overgrown trees and shrubs have been removed, reopening views across the Lake. It has taken 8 Grounds staff plus 10 volunteers 5 months to make this transformation happen. Visitors will notice the new landscaping forming part of this work. This is an ongoing project with more to come throughout 2016.

The aviaries have also seen changes. Overgrown ivy has been removed and the interiors have had a spruce ready for the breeding season.

Harewood House penguin pool project

Penguin Pool redevelopment

Working with Nautilus, a zoological enclosure specialist, large scale project works have been undertaken. Most significantly, the Penguin Pool has seen a total revamp. New rock work has been sculpted by the expert team and new burrows have been created for our Humboldt family.

Nautilus have also overseen the construction of a new Central Hub. The structure sits in the heart of the Bird Garden with views across the Lake. This area will be used for family activities, school groups and as a place to sit and relax.

Fresh interpretation has been written for the 37 species of birds cared for in the Harewood Bird Garden. This is a rolling programme of work with more to follow throughout 2016. The importance of conservation and protecting endangered species is at the core of the message.

Parrot aviaries at Harewood House

Palm cockatoos

But that’s not all! We have reopened closed areas of the Bird Garden, giving you the opportunity to see the charismatic palm cockatoos. These entertaining birds boast iridescent black feathers and bright pink cheeks. Residing in the largest aviary at Harewood, these birds are a must see when you visit.

The collection plan has been given more focus, with dedicated themes tying in with the wider conservation initiatives and messages. Harewood’s connection with the Himalaya’s has been taken into account, with new species from the region joining us this year. The pekin robin is one bird you will be able to see from this part of the world in 2016.

Beyond the exotic species, a fresh initiative to represent our native wildlife has also been undertaken. A brand new minibeast trail has been created with plans to tell visitors more about the Red Kites, barn owls and water fowl coming later this year.

We hope to see you this year and we hope that you will enjoy all the changes that have taken place!

A Royal Weekend, The Antiques & Fine Art Fair at Harewood

Over the weekend of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited returns to stage The Antiques & Fine Art Fair at Harewood, supported by Knight Frank, Harrogate. The Fair will take place from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th June, 2016 in the spectacular Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown landscape, in which the royal House nestles.

To mark the official royal birthday, many of the exhibitors are bringing items with regal connections, including a pair of Royal Brierley Crystal presentation goblets made to commemorate the 1937 coronation of the Queen’s father, King George VI, priced at £500 the pair from Mark J West. These would have been made rather hurriedly following the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII. Freshfords Fine Antiques is bringing a Regency George IV amboyna and rosewood side table, attributable to Morel and Seddon, c1826, £14,860. George Seddon formed a partnership with a cabinetmaker and upholsterer Nicholas Morel to fulfil one of their contracts: to make furniture for Windsor Castle. They worked almost exclusively for the crown, particularly at Windsor, but also at other royal residences. An exceptionally rare pressed horn snuff box has a lid modelled after the portrait of George I painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller and still bares traces of the original gilding, c1714-27, £765 from JA Yarwood Antiques.

Exhibiting for the first time, JA Yarwood Antiques from Skipton is also showing a collection of fine quality Japanese items, including a late Edo – early Meiji period hand carved ivory netsuke showing Ashinaga and Tenaga, signed, Japan, c1860, £3,785. Ashinaga and Tenaga work together as fishermen on the sea shore. Ashinaga carries Tenaga out into the sea on his long legs where Tenaga is able to scoop fish from the water with his long arms. This unusual depiction of the two shows Tenaga as a child.

Another new exhibitor, Timewise, joins the fair with a selection of watches including a vintage Rolex Oyster Precision steel watch with a white dial in the sought-after ‘Explorer’ design, priced at £2,790. Sticking with timepieces, clocks always bring a room to life and F J & R D Story Antique Clocks has a diverse collection catering for most tastes, amongst which is an English double fusée bronze and ormolu mounted mantel clock by F Baetens, London, c1825, priced at £5,950 and a fine quality figured walnut longcase clock by William Allam of London, c1750, £12,000. Examples of Allam’s work were exhibited at the Guildhall Museum in London, founded in 1826.

Dating back around 70 million years, the oldest piece to be found at the fair is a dinosaur egg, measuring around 15cm, £550 from antiquities dealer Odyssey. This impressive fossilised egg is from a Therizinosaurus, which roamed the earth during the late Cretaceous period.

Jack Shaw & Co returns with a fine collection of silver, including a pair of French claret jugs by the renowned Parisian silversmith Emile Puiforcat, c1880, £4,500 and a pair of old Sheffield plate wine coolers, c1825, £3,500. Summer brings out the insects, but bees and spiders set in gold with precious stones, c1890-1900, priced at £885 from T Robert, should be more welcome.

A bonus for holders of antiques fair tickets is that they not only have access to Harewood’s magnificent grounds, transformed from agricultural fields by Brown from 1776 to 1781, and Below Stairs, but for just £5, they can also visit the State Rooms and exhibitions. The Art of Landscape is a full and fresh assessment of the cultural influence of the ‘Capability’ Brown design, whose 300th anniversary since his birth is celebrated this year at Harewood. Visitors can explore the innovation made by artists across the centuries including works by the great masters like JMW Turner, Cotman and Girtin, as well as photographs by pioneering Victorian photographer Roger Fenton, who captured the Brownian views in 1860. A contemporary response by Simon Warner will take you through the landscape in a new film titled North and South.

Light refreshments are available within the fair and Harewood has its own restaurants and cafés, so there are plenty of options available for a thoroughly enjoyable day out. Harewood members receive free entry to the Fair and all antiques fair ticket holders qualify for free parking. Antiques Fair tickets cost £5 each on the door or in advance from The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited.

In addition to the advice available from the individual dealers, T L Phelps Fine Furniture Restoration is taking a stand with examples of work undertaken. Advisers from Wilson Mitchell & Co Ltd, a partner practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, will be happy to discuss investments with their clients and other interested visitors. Masons Yorkshire Gin, a popular exhibitor last year, is also returning.

Justin Fletcher announced as headline act for Geronimo Festival

Justin Fletcher at Harewood, Yorkshire

Geronimo has announced its most exciting line-up to date, with headliner CBeebies Superstar Justin Fletcher!

Following a fantastic response to the inaugural festival in 2015, Geronimo is returning to Tatton Park from May 29th to 30th 2016, plus new venue, Harewood House, from May 1st to 2nd 2016.

The biggest star on British children’s TV will be performing for one day only at each festival on Sunday 1st May at Harewood House and Sunday 29th May at Tatton Park.

Known for his starring role in CBeebies shows Something Special, Justin’s House and Gigglebiz, Justin Fletcher will be performing his signature act on the festival’s main stage.

With more acts and activities still to be announced, Geronimo is a fantastic day out for the whole family, promising an exciting programme of acts, amazing experiences and wonderful adventures.

Festival owner, Simon Goldman, comments: “We’re delighted to announce Justin Fletcher at Geronimo, he is such a huge name in the world of children’s television and a fantastic addition to the Geronimo main stage.

The 2016 line up is already jam packed with big names, alongside stacks of new activities for children and parents, including a brand new theatre and literary zone, traditional county fair and live music to name a few. It really is a children’s festival like no other.”

Visit www.geronimofest.com for more information.