Wildlife Garden

Wildlife Garden

Explore nature in our flourishing Wildlife Garden, a tranquil haven for plants and animals in the heart of the city.

The garden is home to thousands of British flora and fauna. More than 3,300 species have been identified in the garden since it opened in 1995.

Opening hours:

1 November - 31 March, 11.00-15.30 (closed 24-26 December)

1 April - 31 October, 11.00-17.00 

Closed during wet weather.

You can learn more about our Wildlife Garden on the Museum's blog.

Explore the galleries with the Museum map

Find out how to get around with the Museum map. There are four zones to discover.

What can you see in the Wildlife Garden in autumn and winter?

  • Autumn is the time for fantastic fungi. Spot velvet shank, earthstars and coral fungi in the leaf litter. Candle snuff, bonnets and turkey tail can be seen on dead wood. Spy on tiny parachute mushrooms trooping along tree bark or twigs.
  • Grey squirrels are busy burying nuts for the winter and building dreys (nests) to protect themselves from the cold weather. They have even taken over some of our bird boxes.
  • Jays are also on the lookout for acorns, you might see one investigating our taller trees or finding soft soil to bury a store of winter food.
  • Look out for our cheeky foxes skulking around the garden. One of last year's cubs has become the dominant vixen on site and we are hoping she will have cubs of her own in early spring.
  • Bright berries are adding colour to the garden: blood-red holly, scarlet stinking iris and pink and orange spindle fruits.
  • The thickening layers of leaf litter are home to a busy world of millipedes, springtails and centipedes.
  • Toads and newts will be digging deep into the soil and under logs to protect themselves from winter frosts. Newts seem to prefer company and are often found in groups in the best hiding places.
  • Small birds often become more gregarious as winter approaches. You might see a charm of chattering goldfinches or a mixed tit flock foraging for seeds and invertebrates.
  • Dried seed heads and hollow stems provide hiding places for insects that prefer to stay dormant over winter. The seeds are also food for hungry birds.

Wildlife Garden Explorers

Go on a small safari with a handy guide to the minibeasts that live in the Wildlife Garden and their habitats. Then, complete our leaf bingo by spotting fabulous foliage.

Free, no booking required
Suitable for ages 3+