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A significant year for flight – call out for Bird Garden stories

Harewood House in Yorkshire is a Bird ZooFifty-year-old flamingos, the first penguins in a country house and a passion and commitment for wildlife and conservation, the Bird Garden at Harewood is an accredited zoo and first opened to the public in spring 1970, then hailed in the press as ‘one of England’s most comprehensive collections of rare and exotic birds from all parts of the world.’

When Harewood reopens on 21 March, following three months of winter closure, it will be to celebrate 50 years of the Bird Garden, with new launches and exhibitions to be revealed across the House, grounds and gardens.

We’re calling out to visitors and local people from around the 1970 opening to get in contact now and share their memories and stories of one of visitors’ most loved areas of Harewood to this day.

The Bird Garden was originally opened by the 7th Earl and the Countess of Harewood, to provide a new attraction for visitors and celebrate their passion for wildlife and the protection of endangered species. At the time they were advised by Sir Peter Scott, the conservationist, ornithologist and founder of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trusts and also by Len Hill, celebrated ornithologist and founder of Birdland Park and Gardens.

It once housed 500 birds from 140 different species, including native Australian birds from the Countess’ home country, in addition to significant collections of birds from the Himalayas and South America. Today, Harewood is an accredited zoo and a member of BIAZA, the professional body representing the best zoos and aquariums in Britain and Ireland. It is home to approximately 300 birds from 56 different species, of which there are 17 managed international breeding and conservation programmes.

1970 was a significant year of flight – the year Concorde first flew supersonic; the first commercial passenger flight took place on a Jumbo Jet from New York to London and the Apollo 13 mission to the moon.

Jane Marriott, Director, Harewood House Trust, says “The Harewood Bird Garden is one of the best-loved parts of a visit to Harewood for many people, but what people may not know is that we are also an educational charity and the Bird Garden is an accredited zoo. At Harewood, we have a clear commitment to the care, conservation and biodiversity of many endangered bird species from around the world.

“In this 50th anniversary year, we would love to hear from anyone who might have visited in those early years, from when the Bird Garden opened in 1970. We’re sure there are many fascinating stories and memories, and hearing them will enable us to build the most complete picture of the impact of this part of Harewood’s past and its future and how zoos have developed from lovely displays of birds, into a very important place to care for our planet and wildlife.”

Harewood is asking people to send their stories to marketing@harewood.org

You can find out more about the Bird Garden here

Dementia-friendly team training

dementia-friends-pin-badgeThis week our Visitor Experience Team become Dementia Friends and joined the UK’s biggest ever initiative to change the way people think, act and talk about Dementia.

Twenty members of the Visitor Experience Team, including supervisors and those who work in the House, on the Chain Ferry, and at Visitor Reception, took part in the training session, delivered by a volunteer Dementia Friends Champion.

Being a Dementia Friend simply means learning more about dementia, putting yourself in the shoes of someone living with the condition, and turning your understanding into actions. Something as simple as being more patient during a transaction at our ticket booths, every action counts.

This was a really impactful session, where those taking part learnt about key messages through activities and discussion, providing a greater understanding of Dementia affects everyone differently and committing to one dementia-friendly action at the end of the session.

Emily Long, Visitor Experience Manager, said “This was a really enjoyable session and our team is proud to raise awareness and support people living with Dementia. It’s incredibly important that as many of our staff and volunteers as possible have the opportunity to become Dementia Friends and we will all be wearing blue forget-me-not pin badges to identify ourselves.”

Follow Harewood on social media @HarewoodHouse

A pair of the world’s largest flying birds take residence at Harewood

Condor_Harewood_BirdGardenTwo giant female Andean condors have arrived at Harewood House Bird Garden this week, as part of the charity’s work to proactively take part in the preservation and continuation of endangered species.

Babs and Janina will live in the newly revamped large enclosure at Harewood, where they have already drawn visitors to discover more about them. Harewood House Trust has joined the European breeding programme, where it will host and care for birds who are being readied to be paired off for breeding.

Nick Dowling, Bird Garden & Farm Experience Manager at Harewood, says; “We’re really excited about the arrival of these two impressive birds, there have never been Condors in Harewood’s history and they will be a valued addition to the Bird Garden’s significant Collection.
“Andean Condors are classified as near-threatened and there are very few in UK collections. We will be caring for these birds, holding them in reserve for when a suitable male becomes available as part of the breeding programme.”

The Andean condor is part of the vulture family and is native to South America. It is the largest flying bird in the world. Janina has been brought to Harewood from Ostrava Zoo in the Czech Republic, whilst Babs arrives from Lotherton on Thursday 31 October, Halloween.

Babs has lived at Lotherton since 2009 and has been a big favourite for both staff and visitors.

Robert Young, Head Keeper at Lotherton says; “We’re so happy Babs is going to a new home not so far away at Harewood. With the species in decline, it is important that we continue our work with the European Endangered Species breeding programme for this species. This exchange is just one of the actions that make up Lotherton’s commitment to conservation and aid in the long-term survival of the species we hold in zoos.”

Condors can live up to the age of 60 and these birds are 26 and 33 years old. Babs has previously had eggs.

Keep up to date with bird stories from Harewood on #TakeoverTuesday @HarewoodHouse

We’re saying #ThanksToYou National Lottery Players with 50% off Gate Entry

Here’s an early Christmas present for you…

This year is the 25th Birthday of The National Lottery, and when Harewood reopens for our Christmas season on Saturday 23 November, we’re delighted to announce that we will be a part of the National Lottery celebrations by joining in the #ThanksToYou campaign, a UK-wide celebration of the contribution of National Lottery players in supporting good causes over the past 25 years!

As a recipient of National Lottery funding ourselves, we’re astounded to learn that since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £40 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community – that’s £30 million a week making a difference to lives of people and communities throughout the whole of the UK.

From Saturday 23 November to Sunday 1 December, if you show your National Lottery ticket, scratchcard or digital version at ticket entry, we’re offering you 50% off the ticket price, so £8.75 for adults and £4.50 for children aged 4 to 17.

Anyone who presents any National Lottery ticket on these dates will be able to take up this special offer. Please check our full terms and conditions below.

Keep an eye on our social media for more stories and information about the #ThanksToYou campaign @HarewoodHouse

Terms and Conditions

Valid only from Saturday 23 November to Sunday 1 December 2019

You can only take advantage of this offer once, and as such will be asked for your surname and post code; we will also record your ticket or scratch-card unique ID number *

All National Lottery Games qualify (all draw-based games and Scratch-cards); proof of purchase can be hard copy paper or digital tickets; draw dates must be within the last month, or a future draw date

Cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion

This offer has no cash value

Tickets are non-refundable

Tickets bought in advance at full price cannot be refunded and re-bought using this offer

The discount using one ticket or scratch-card applies to up to four people (any combination of adults and children)

A draw-ticket counts as one single ticket, regardless of how many lines or additional bonuses have been purchased on the ticket

Purchase is available on gate entry only, and no advance booking is required

Harewood House Trust maintains the right to refuse entry

General terms and conditions apply

* your data will only be stored temporarily in conjunction with this offer, and will not be added to any other database nor used for any other purpose

Reasons to love autumn with Sandy Docherty, former GBBO contestant

Harewood_House_AutumnGloryCookingAutumn Glory and half term will be celebrated next week, including a guest chef appearance in the Below Stairs Kitchen from former Great British Bake-Off contestant, and Yorkshire champion, Sandie Docherty.

We asked Sandy what five things she loves about autumn…

1. What’s your favourite dish to cook in autumn and why?
I think my favourite dish for Autumn has to be Pie, made in advance and cooked to perfection. That warm inviting crust can be served with veg, salad or chips or let’s face it, eaten by itself. All fillings can have pastry wrapped round them. Pie can make the unattractive look fabulous. Pastry after all is the culinary equivalent to Lycra!!

2. What 3 ingredients can you not live without during autumn?
3 ingredients I cannot live without during autumn would be; flour, eggs and butter. This means on those chilly autumn days baking can happen and that’s a good thing.

3. Fireside chats in woolly socks or blow the cobwebs away walks in muddy boots – what’s your preference?
Fireside chats or good walks, can I choose both? One good walk is surely followed by cosy fireside chats.?

4. What are you going to be cooking at Harewood for half term?
I thought a sticky Ginger sponge as it is very seasonal and easy to make, no decorations are needed and it’s fabulous with custard. While its baking I thought I’d make some light fluffy buttermilk pancakes, something that can be made over the holidays with the children.

5. Why cook and bake?
I know we have to cook to feed our families, but there is also another reason. In this mad world, time is moving fast and we don’t always know what our successes look like. We need to remember that we are successful and that our successes come in small quick fix pieces, such as a tray of scones.

Sandy will be at Harewood demonstrating cooking on Tuesday 29 October, from 1-3pm. 

Follow us on social media @HarewoodHouse to keep up to date with news and stories.