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.
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.
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.
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!