Wildlife Garden

Wildlife Garden

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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.

Please note: the Wildlife Garden is closed until further notice.

Opening hours:
1 November - 31 March, 10.00-15.30 (closed 24-26 December)
1 April - 31 October, 10.00-17.00 

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

What can you see in spring?

  • Male wrens build up to 12 nests in the hope a female will choose one. Look out for busy males carrying nesting material and females feeding young.
  • We are hoping our moorhens will have chicks again this year. Look out for little balls of black fluff tripping over their spindly legs.
  • Long-tailed tits are on the lookout for the perfect nest, you might see them gather spiders' silk to hold their mossy nests together.
  • Large red damselflies and broad-bodied chasers (dragonflies) will soon be racing around the pond.
  • Bees including the hairy-footed flower bee, chocolate mining bee and red mason bee are buzzing about. The large bee-fly mimics bees and hovers around tubular flowers.
  • Frogspawn is an obvious sign of spring, but look closer at the pond and you may see smooth newts dancing to attract mates or maybe even spot a female carefully wrapping her eggs in a leaf.
  • Common spotted orchid and bee orchid leaf rosettes are appearing on the meadows and woodland glade - the flowers will come out later.
  • Primroses and yellow cowslips are blooming in abundance.
  • Delicate wood anemones light up the woodland glades, electric-pink cranesbills are brightening up rocky areas and it's hard to miss the carpets of bluebells.
  • Distinctive wild garlic leaves then star-like flowers will appear, although you might smell it before you see it!
  • Butterflies including sulphur-yellow brimstones*, holly blues and orange-tips are likely to be the first to be fluttering around the garden.

*Check out the sulphur samples in the Minerals gallery to compare the colours.

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Discover what you can see and do in our other galleries, and find out how to get around with our Museum map.