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NFU Mutual Agents to support Harewood’s new safari experience

Claire Cox, Head of Development, and Rachel Crewes, CEO of Harewood House Trust, with Samantha Webster and Caroline Pullich, Partners at NFU Mutual.

NFU Mutual Agents and their staff at the Boston Spa & Harrogate agency recently nominated local charity Harewood House Trust, to receive a donation of £6,509 from NFU Mutual’s national £1.92million ‘Agency Giving Fund’.

The leading rural insurer launched this fund, now in its fifth year, to help local frontline charities across the country. The Agency Giving Fund forms part of NFU Mutual’s £3.25m funding pledge for both local and national charities in 2024, to assist with the ongoing recovery from the pandemic and to help tackle the impact of the rising cost of living.

To ensure these donations reach all corners of the UK and are directed to where they’re needed most, all NFU Mutual Agencies, with more than 280 offices nationwide, have been given the opportunity to nominate local charities to receive a share of the fund.

The UK charity sector has faced unprecedented challenges due to the combined impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis. Harewood House Trust is an independent educational charity as is amongst those that have been affected.

Thanks to the support of NFU Mutual and the Harewood Estate, Harewood House Trust will launch a new nature safari experience sharing fabulous views over the lake, woodlands and parkland.

Young girl and adult looking at the wildlife below the bridge in the Himalayan Garden

Young girl and adult looking at the wildlife below the bridge in the Himalayan Garden, Tom Arber

The funding will go towards providing transport and opening up access to hard-to-reach areas, giving visitors a chance to spot some of the incredible array of wildlife. Harewood is home to amphibians, butterflies, and insects, not to mention the large population of red kites and deer who call Harewood their home. This initiative will ensure that more people can experience the natural beauty and diverse species that thrive in these areas.

Caroline Pullich, Managing Partner at NFU Mutual Boston Spa Agency covering Yorkshire, said: “We’re extremely proud to have nominated Harewood House Trust for this donation and are delighted to be able to support the vital contribution they make to our community. NFU Mutual’s Agency Giving Fund was first created in 2020 in response to the pandemic, and this ongoing support is helping to change lives, providing both emergency support and building long-term resilience.”

Claire Cox, Head of Development at Harewood House Trust, added: “We are so grateful to the Boston Spa & Harrogate Agency of NFU Mutual, for nominating us for a donation from the NFU Mutual Agency Giving Fund. Thanks to this support, we can provide safari transport that will enable visitors and school groups to easily explore more of the landscape. This will also benefit those audiences in receipt of Universal or Pension Credit and other benefits who are using our new £2 day ticket. The safari will be an opportunity for everyone to learn about the incredible natural environment at Harewood and what we are doing to protect it for future generations.”

Stories of Harewood: Princess Mary

Princess Mary, 1914. This portrait of Princess Mary was included in every Christmas Gift Box sent to troops fighting for Britain in 1914.

We are happy to share that Harewood is introducing a brand-new tour exclusively for groups!

This tour will delve into Harewood’s royal connection through the story of HRH Princess Mary.  Learn about the fascinating life of the Princess, while you explore our magnificent State Floor.

Who was Princess Mary?

Princess Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary of York was born on the 25th of April 1897 at York Cottage located on the Royal Estate of Sandringham.

Princess Mary was the only daughter of six children born to the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George V and Queen Mary.

As part of her royal duties, Princess Mary was affiliated with many organisations throughout her life, including the Girl Guides and Great Ormond Street. She also held several honorary military positions, including Commandant-in-Chief of the Royal Scots and British Red Cross Detachments. During the Second World War, Princess Mary served with the British Army from 1941 as Controller- Commandant of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (later the Women’s Royal Army Corps).

Princess Mary and Harewood

Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Princess Mary and Henry, Viscount Lascelles, eldest son of the 5th Earl of Harewood in November 1921, with The Royal wedding taking place on the 28th of February 1922.

Princess Mary and the 6th Earl moved into Harewood in 1930 and made a number of modernisations and improvements to both the House and Estate. Princess Mary lived at Harewood for more than 30 years.

Mary is still known today as ‘The Yorkshire Princess’.

Group visits to Harewood

Groups of 12 or more benefit from our reduced group rates. Groups also benefit from one free admission for the group organiser and coach driver.

Explore the marital home of ‘The Yorkshire Princess’ with one of our expert guides.

Find out more about our Guided Tours and Group Visits


Our friendly group bookings team can be reached at 0113 218 1000 or via email groups@harewood.org

Happy 26th Birthday Mr Otto!

We are celebrating a very happy birthday this week at Harewood. 

Mr Otto is one of our Humboldt Penguins and can be found splashing about in the Penguin Pool located within Harewood’s Bird Garden.

Today he turns 26 years old, which is a fantastic age for a Humboldt penguin. Congratulations Mr Otto!

Like the other male penguins in our enclosure, he can be spotted wearing a coloured tag on his right wing. Each penguin has a red, yellow, blue, green or black coloured tag. These tags are located on the left wing for a female and on the right wing for a male. When next visiting the site please do make sure to pop down by the Penguin Pool and see if you can spot him.

Natural Habitat

Humboldt penguins originate from the coastal Peru and Chile. They face many threats in the wild such as the destruction of their habitats, fishing and hunting. The penguin enclosure here at Harewood was specifically designed to replicate the coastline of Peru in South America. The swimming pools are different depths and areas, with a rocky slope leading to a plateau.

Eating Habits 

When in the wild Humboldt penguins would feed on anchovies, squid and sardines as these can be found off the West coast of Peru, our penguins here at Harewood are fed whitebait and sprats, which are very similar in size.

Want to see Mr Otto in person?

Why not join us and meet our famous Humboldt Penguins while exploring Harewood’s Bird Garden.

While on site you can enjoy our penguin talks everyday and there is even the opportunity to get up close and feed these wonderful creatures with one of our Penguin Feeding Experiences.

Visiting as a school?

As part of our educational programme, pupils will be offered an unforgettable learning experience as they get outside the classroom and explore the Harewood Bird Garden in a session designed to stimulate a curiosity for the natural world. Our Learning Team have been hard at work redeveloping this beloved educational session and we hope to see you in 2023.

Meet the Penguins session >>

Meet the Birds session >>

Learning Outside the Classroom

The Learning Team here at Harewood are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a quality badge by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.

This year our team has launched a brand-new learning programme filled with exciting workshops and tours for educational groups. We are so pleased by the positive reaction to the new programme, which has been rated consistently ‘Oustanding’ by teachers, and look forward to what the next few months will bring.


What is the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom?

As a registered charity the Council are champions of learning outside the classroom.

They believe in equal opportunities for all children to experience life outside of the classroom. They wish to ensure that more young people have access to life changing educational experiences.

Find out more about the council for Learning Outside the Classroom at https://www.lotc.org.uk/


Sandford Award

Harewood is also recipient of the prestigious Sandford Award, which celebrates high quality heritage education and provides independent quality assurance to sites that run formal education programmes in the UK and Ireland.

Find out more about the Sandford Award at https://www.heritageeducationtrust.org/about-the-sandford-award 

If you would like to speak to a member of the Learning Team about our current programme they can be reached at learn@harewood.org.



Learning Outside the Classroom Website – https://www.lotc.org.uk/

An Outstanding October at Harewood

Primley Wood Primary

It’s certainly been an exciting start to the new school year, as well as launching several brand-new workshops we’ve also been busy delivering some old favourites too!

October saw us teach the first of our Harewood & the Transatlantic Slave Trade workshops. This session has been designed to highlight Harewood’s historic links to the horrific practice, as well as discussing the trade and its wider legacies. Harewood is dedicated to an Open History and acknowledges the importance of addressing these important topics with all ages.

We have been so pleased to have been rated outstanding by all of the schools who have taken part in our new workshops so far. All of the positive and lovely feedback has been greatly appreciated.

”The workshop was fantastic as not only did it explore the slave trade, it also had strong links to Harewood House and its own challenging history. The children were able to look at replica sources and documents during the session which we would not have had access to if teaching the lesson at school. The workshop was also cross-curricular as we did some map work based on the location of different plantations, some investigative source work and had lots of discussion. We then had a tour of the house by the staff members whose expertise shone through.”

-Teacher, Primley Wood Primary, October 2022

If you would like to find out more about available workshops, our friendly Learning Team can be reached via email at learn@harewood.org.

Primley Wood Primary