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 3,130 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.

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+

What can you see in autumn?

 
  • Autumn is the time for fantastic fungi. Spot ink caps, earthstars and coral fungi in the leaf litter. Candle snuff, bonnets and hairy curtain crust 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. 
  • Wild clematis, also known as old man's beard, is living up to its folk name with its shaggy seed heads. 
  • Bright berries are adding colour to the garden: blood-red holly, scarlet stinking iris, purple-black brambles, and pink and orange spindle fruits. 
  • Many spiders become more obvious over autumn. Garden orb spiders frequently rebuild their spiral webs, perhaps you will be lucky enough to catch one spinning her silken threads (or eating the remains of an old web to reuse the proteins). 
  • 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. 
  • As the leaves fall, different characteristics of trees are revealed. Why not try identifying a tree using just the winter twigs? 
  • As the canopy sheds its leaves it becomes easier to see flashes of green from our smaller plants - look out for mosses and lichens spreading over surfaces.